Dependent Personality Disorder Essay

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Personality Disorder

I suffer from dependent personality disorder which is also known as asthenic personality disorder. It is a personality disorder characterized by pervasiveness of psychological dependence on other individuals. Among the saddest things about this condition that I suffer from is that I will remain with it long-term. Therefore I will keep on depending on other people to meet my physical and emotional needs while depending on myself rarely. As a result of this disease that I suffer from, I feel other people around me are more capable of shouldering the responsibilities that life throws at me and they are much more capable of navigating this world that seems more complex to me. The people around me seem more competent, powerful and capable of providing me with a sense of security and provide me with support in the activities of life. I tend to avoid situations which require me to take responsibility for my actions and only look for others who can lead the activity and take responsibility for my actions. Thus I need continuous support in my life. At times my judgment is distorted as a result of my inability to take responsibility for actions and being fixated in the past American Psychiatric Association, 2000.

I prefer ideas that are unsophisticated and childlike instead of the more complex ones that require me to step up.


I was diagnosed with dependent personality disorder as a result of my difficulty in making normal everyday decisions without receiving an excessive amount of advice and reassurance from other people. I also need others in order to assume responsibility for anything in my life. I also feel extremely uncomfortable or helpless when I am alone as a result of innate fears of being unable to create for myself which are exaggerated. I also have difficulty in initiating projects or doing anything on my own as a result of my low self-esteem and lack of self-confidence in my own judgment or abilities Millon, 1996.

My therapist also says that I go to excessive lengths in order to obtain the support of others to the point which I volunteer for activities that are unpleasant and wrong by my own moral definitions and standards. Aside from this, I also have difficulty when expressing any disagreement with another person as a result of my fear of losing their support or approval. Thus I am preoccupied with the fear of being abandoned by the supporting people in my life Blais, Smallwood, Groves, & Rivas-Vazquez, 2008()

Treatment options

I have been advised about the availability of various treatment options for my disorder. All the procedures involve the prevention of further deterioration as a result of the disorder, helping me regain an adaptive equilibrium, alleviating the symptoms associated with the disorder, restoring the skills and functions that I have lost, and fostering an improved capacity to adapt to any situation which I face. In addition to this, my therapist states that the goal of the various treatment options that I have to use is autonomy and not independence. Thus all treatment options have a goal to increase my sense of independence and ability to function in the long-term. This is done by building my own individual strength rather than fostering neediness.

Psychodynamically oriented therapies

The first treatment option that is available for my condition is psychodynamic treatment. This is a long-term treatment option through which the therapist facilitates me to explore my dependency issues more effectively and thus find a treatment plan for each of the issues identified. The major advantage of this treatment option is that it enables me to get to the more deeper issues that cause intrapersonal conflicts that lead to the disorder. Thus it is possible for the therapist to get a complete and holistic view of me as their patient but this creates a major disadvantage since may lead me to develop heightened dependency on other individuals and thus make it difficult to separate from the therapeutic relationship between me and the therapist Sperry, 1995()

Cognitive-behavioral therapy

This treatment option attempts to increase my ability to act independently without relying on other people. It improves my self-esteem which is very low and enhances the quality of the interpersonal relationships which I create with others to be stronger than being just about supporting the other person to succeed. In this treatment option, I have to play an active role in setting the goals of the treatment option and have to use assertiveness and social skills training in order to reduce my reliance on other individuals including the therapist. The major advantage of this treatment option is that it does not create a dependence on the therapeutic relationship unlike the psychodynamic treatment option this is because it is collaborative and thus fosters a more independent effort by me as the client. The major disadvantage of this treatment option is that the focus on positive thinking may be too superficial and may minimize the importance of my personal history Sperry, 1995()

Interpersonal therapy

The interpersonal approach is helpful for me since I seek help with creating meaningful interpersonal relationships. In this approach, the therapists will help me to explore the long-standing patterns of the interactions that I have with others in order to create a deeper understanding on how these patterns have contributed to issues with dependency. In this approach, the therapist will be focused on showing me the high price that I have had to pay for my dependency through developing relationships that are not meaningful and also help me to develop healthier alternatives. The major advantage of this option is that it is useful for showing me the continuous nature of these meaningless relationships and thus help me to develop better relationships. The major disadvantage is that it requires me to have good social functioning in order for it to work Sperry, 1995()

Group therapy

This treatment option is more interactive than the other treatment options. It involves exploring my passive-dependent behavior and thus be able to treat this disorder. This option is effective because it will help me to interpret the passive-dependent behavior and attitudes and to learn to use them as a defense against the recognition and expression of anger. The most important advantage of group therapy is that it provides me with a sense of belonging. This treatment options puts me together with other individuals who share the same disorder and thus helps us to support each other towards achieving the goals. Another advantage is that it is applicable to individuals who are socially reluctant or have some impairment as a result of their assertiveness and will help them to become more sociable. The major disadvantage is that it can cause personality clashes within the group. Another advantage is that it may be uncomfortable to those who are socially reluctant Sperry, 1995()


Since I have frequent anxiety and depression as a result of my dependent personality disorder, antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication can be effective in managing these symptoms. The major advantage of the use of medication is that it helps to relieve these symptoms. However, it can lead to overdependence on the medication. It is also not effective in treating the dependency issues that cause the disorder Sperry, 1995()

Effect on quality of life

I have low self-esteem since I see myself as being helpless and inadequate to help others. I believe that I live in a world that is cold and dangerous and I am unable to cope on my own. My own definition of my capabilities is that I am pessimistic, lack ambition, abilities, attractiveness and virtues. I tend to be helpless in this world and obsess about finding people who are capable to nurture and support me towards my development. I tend to deny my own individuality and also subordinate my desires to the capable people identified. My beliefs and values are internalized from those of the capable people I identify. I imagine myself as being a part of a powerful world and tend to think that my role in this world is to support others in the performance of their roles. I see myself as protected by the power of those I support and thus do not feel any anxiety attached to my own impotence and helplessness.

As a result of the disorder, I am not comfortable by myself and I tend to inordinate helplessness. I deny the feelings that I experience and the deceptive strategies that I have to employ to make it. I limit my own awareness of myself and others and tend to be naive and uncritical about crucial things in life. I have limited tolerance to people with negative feelings, perceptions or interpersonal interactions and only believe that I am the only one who can be right about myself. I build a defensive structure that reinforces and verifies the self-image that I hold of myself.

I believe the relationships I hold with the people who I support to be necessary for…[continue]

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