The 10 Personality Disorders: Dependent Personality Disorder

This post is intended to list characteristics of personality disorders, causes & treatments.

*These are characteristics often observed in a personality disorder though every feature may not apply to each specific personality disorder. Appreciate what is of value to you in this post and leave the rest.

Individuals with a personality disorder often experience chronic, pervasive difficulty with relationships, impulse control, & emotions. The features may be present in childhood, often become prominent in teen years, but often a diagnosis is withheld until adulthood.  Typically, a personality disorder is in sync with one’s ego. Due to this the person may lack self-awareness and externalize the problems associated with their personality disorder. Personality disorders can co-occur.

In order for a diagnosis a person must exhibit difficulty in at least one of the four, (among other criteria specific to the personality disorder);

  • Distorted thinking
  • Problematic emotional responses
  • Over or under regulated impulse control
  • Interpersonal difficulties

Data supports that any person with a personality disorder is more likely to have a substance use disorder. Though, sometimes it can be difficult to differentiate which is causing the other. Personality disorders should be diagnosed with caution.

Personality disorders are grouped into clusters based on common similarities;

Cluster A: Social withdrawal or awkwardness driven by distorted thinking

Cluster B: Dramatic, impulsive and emotional thinking/behavior

Cluster C: Driven by fear

Dependent Personality Disorder


[Cluster C]


  • More common in those born as females
  • Attached and dependent
  • Inability to be alone
  • Depends on others for decision making
  • Avoids responsibilities
  • Will alter their competence depending on situation
  • Clingy
  • Engulf others
  • May be pessimistic
  • Intolerable of loneliness
  • Emotional liability
  • Submissive
  • Practice ‘love bombing’

Dependent Personality Disorder is a type of anxious personality disorder.

  • Difficulties expressing disagreement
  • Need excessive reassurance
  • Urgent need to replace relationships that end
  • Self-loathing
  • May imitate or mirror others


  • Feelings of emptiness
  • Passive
  • Sense of victimhood
  • Often co-occurs with depression
  • Goes to extremes to please the person caring for them
  • Separation anxiety

The traits of Dependent Personality Disorder have been observed in children as young as 6-7 years of age.

  • Low self esteem
  • May be attention seeking or impulsive
  • Clings to others for approval and validation
  • Maintains relationships at all costs
  • May be paired with a codependent

“Codependency is driven by the agreement that I will work harder on your problem and your life than you do. This is not love.”

  • May endure abuse
  • Poor relationships
  • Self-harm tendencies
  • Suicidal tendencies



Environmental factors play a role. May have experienced abuse, neglect, and trauma. Personality traits may contribute. Can be a learned behavior. May experience abusive relationships, bullying, financial abuse, high interpersonal stress. Those with chronic disabilities or illnesses tend to develop these traits.


Therapy & Medication

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy CBT

Dialectical Behavior Therapy DBT

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy ACT

Schema-Focused Therapy | Focuses on unmet needs that have led to the behavioral patterns, goal is to meet needs with healthier skills

Support groups | Help to understand how to relate to others, skill building for social and emotional responses

Group therapy | May find solace in others with environmental factors that contributed

Family therapy | Support for family & help family become more constructive

Medications | Most common are anti-anxiety, antidepressants & sometimes mood stabilizers

david beckham

There have been sources reporting that David Beckham, one of Britain’s more iconic athletes, suffers from Dependent Personality Disorder along with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. 

More On David Beckham

More on Dependent Personality Disorder


For the other 9 personality Disorders or other mental health topics visit