Dependent Personality Disorder

Individuals with Dependent Personality Disorder have a pervasive need to rely on others to take care of all their needs. This is a Cluster C (anxious, fearful) disorder that features submissive, even clinging, behavior and extreme separation anxiety. The person has much difficulty making decisions, even simple ones, without advice or reassurance from others she regularly depends upon.


Additional characteristics of Dependent Personality Disorder are as follows:

  • difficulty disagreeing with others, because she may lose their support
  • difficulty undertaking projects because she has no self-confidence
  • goes out of her way to gain approval, support, and nurturance from others
  • being alone makes her feel uncomfortable, fearful, and helpless

Treatment is chiefly cognitive behavioral therapy focusing on development of decision-making skills and other responsible and independent behaviors.