A personality disorder is when a person has trouble with their self-concept, and problems with thinking, controlling emotions, and impulsive behaviors. People who suffer from a personality disorder have trouble participating fully in society. If you suffer from personality disorder please know that it is possible to change and live a full and happy life.
One example of a personality disorder is dependent personality disorder (DPD). People living with DPD think that they need others to care for them, and have a strong fear of being alone. People who develop DPD are usually raised in families with strict rules, and have low levels of emotional expression. People living with DPD typically have not developed the social skills necessary to become independent adults. Other factors that influence the development of DPD include chronic illness in childhood, or a person may have experienced a life changing event such as divorce, or the death of a caregiver.
While there is no one cause to why a person develops a dependent personality disorder, one cause seems stable, family. Family, especially parents can have an extensive influence on this behavior by making important and minor decisions for the child. Parents can even make these decisions for their child by the time he or she becomes a young adult. Parents may make decisions involving college, careers, marriage, and etc. These actions allow the dependent person to continue to allow someone else to care for them, and continues his or her thought process that they are helpless.
Effective treatments for DPD include psychotherapy in which a person’s views are challenged. Cognitive behavioral therapy has also been shown to be an effective treatment of many personality disorders. The most important thing is to understand your symptoms, the treatments, and that with the right help and personal dedication these issues can be overcome.
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Head, S., Baker, J., & Williamson, D. (1992, March). Family environment and dependent personality disorder. Clinician’s Research Digest, p. 2.