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How do you know if someone has dependent personality disorder?

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Persons who suffer from a dependent personality disorder may exhibit signs and symptoms; however a diagnosis must be made by a licensed mental health practitioner. Dependent personality disorder is characterized by fear of separation, submissive and clinging behavior and an excessive need to be taken care of, according to Psychology Today. Persons suffering from dependent personality disorder show marked impairment in interpersonal functioning.

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PsychCentral states that people with dependent personality constructs seek overprotection and domination from others, and they are pessimistic, self-doubting, self-belittling and tend to underestimate their own abilities and achievements. As reported by WebMD, there is no know cause of dependent personality disorder. That said, scientists believe that a combination of biological and developmental may contribute to persons developing dependent personality disorder. Authoritarian or overprotective parenting may contribute to a person developing dependent personality disorder if the person is biologically susceptible to the illness.

Psychology Today explains that as a set of personality traits, dependent personality disorder is deeply ingrained into a patient's psyche. Patients may seek treatment, not for the disorder, but for external problems caused by or related to the disorder. Patients may develop anxiety or depression as a result of these problems. Psychotherapy is the most common treatment for dependent personality disorder. Psychotherapists often treat the disorder by identifying and resolving the dependent characteristics present in the actual therapist-patient relationship and relating them to the patient's other dependent relationships.

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