What is Dependent Personality Disorder or Dependency?
Dependent personality, often referred to as “dependent personality disorder” or dependency, is characterized by a pervasive psychological dependence on another person or people to meet emotional or physical needs. Persons with a dependent personality have low self-esteem and feel inadequate and helpless. They may demonstrate submissive and clinging behavior with a fear of separation. There is passivity and an inability to cope without the support of others. Dependent persons frequently involve themselves in unhealthy or inappropriate relationships to avoid being alone. While dependent behavior is a normal childhood developmental stage, by early adulthood and beyond this behavior is abnormal. At PCH Treatment Center, we avoid the use of stigmatizing labels, such as the term “personality disorder.” Dependency is a significant relational issue that we address in our intensive treatment programs.