Dependent personality disorder treatment

A pervasive, excessive need to be taken care of, which results in submissiveness and clinging tendencies, are a characteristic of dependent personality disorder. People who suffer from this disorder may not seek therapy, but if something in their lives spirals out of control or symptoms become unmanageable, they may turn to treatment. Dependent personality disorder treatment concentrates on the patient’s challenges in life and incorporates therapies to build self-confidence so that the patient is able to meet their own needs, tolerate being alone, learn assertiveness, and define personal boundaries.

The objective of treatment is for the patient to decrease reliance on others and develop their independence. People with dependent personality disorder work with an experienced mental health professional to address the underlying causes, examine dependence behaviors, and develop decision-making capabilities.

A woman withDependent personality disorder

Who and how we help

Treatment for dependent personality disorder in adults

Individuals with dependent personality lack self-efficacy and believe they are incapable of being independent and unable to make simple decisions without outside input. Psychotherapy is the primary treatment for dependent personality disorder. The focus of treatment is to increase a person’s level of independence. An individual may benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to start challenging their negative thinking and beginning more independent activities.

The unconscious mechanisms that sustain the reliance are analyzed by a qualified therapist. Patients learn how to have healthier relationships through applying modified behavioral techniques. Although no specific medication treats dependent personality disorder, drugs such as mood stabilizers or antidepressants can help moderate symptoms related to mental health. 

Treatment for dependent personality disorder in adolescents

Teenagers’ personality development includes establishing ways of thinking, feeling, and acting. Personality traits develop as a function of a child’s environment, genetic makeup, a specific circumstance, or life experience that serves as the impetus for the emergence of an adolescent personality disorder. Dependent personality disorder can impede the growth of a teen’s identity, disrupt interpersonal connections, and impact their ability to control their emotions.

Furthermore, untreated personality problems might result in substance misuse, social isolation, or depression. Treatment for dependent personality disorder involves a predetermined number of therapy sessions to help the teenager manage their condition while giving parents the tools to support their children in continuing the therapeutic progress they have achieved. 

Dependent personality disorder treatment steps

As the first line of treatment for dependent personality disorder, psychotherapy is usually recommended. It is a time-limited therapy as long-term treatment results in an increased dependence on the therapist. Treatment can include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to form realistic and wholesome thought patterns. It is possible to recover from and learn to manage the condition.

It is important for patients to build solid relationships with themselves, and it takes time, patience, and support from both loved ones and experienced mental health professionals. Treatment plans may be augmented with medications for co-occurring disorders. In psychodynamic therapy, the patient is guided in examining the relationship between the psyche, personality, and cognition and how these affect subconscious processes. 

The benefits of treatment of dependent personality disorder

Treatment of dependent personality disorder incorporates psychodynamic psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and other types of therapies. The goal is to teach patients how to make their own decisions in life, enhance their sense of self and build wholesome relationships. If medication is prescribed to reduce mental health symptoms, the patient also learns how to manage their medication appropriately and become more self-reliant. A medical diagnosis and the patient’s needs are considered to determine the best course of treatment. We offer qualified mental health services that focus on an individual’s recovery and growth. The Good Health team understands the impact dependent personality disorder can have on the patient’s life. Our compassionate psychiatrists and psychologists are experienced in helping teenagers and adults overcome their fears in a private, comfortable, and supportive environment.


What is the root cause of dependent personality disorder?

Root causes are very patient-specific. Childhood experiences, trauma, abandonment problems, attachment styles, an innate predisposition, inherited personality traits, or other influences may be contributing factors in developing a dependent personality disorder.

Which doctor should I consult for a dependent personality disorder diagnosis?

A clinical diagnosis can only be made by a qualified mental health professional such as a psychiatrist or psychologist with training in identifying and treating mental health issues. Personality disorders are complex conditions that require specialized care.

Is DPD curable?

Dependent personality disorder treatment options focus on helping patients with DPD to learn how to establish healthy relationships and boundaries and become more independent. While this disorder cannot be cured, it is treatable.

What are the best dependent personality disorder treatment options?

A person with dependent personality disorder can develop constructive behaviors and responses and boost their self-esteem through treatment. Psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, and training in assertiveness are important components of therapy

What is the success rate for treating a dependent personality disorder?

Long-term treatment for dependent personality disorder shows high rates of patients achieving their therapy objectives. Evidence-based treatments successfully help individuals identify and change behaviors, regulate emotions, and develop self-reliance and sufficiency.

What problems may DPD cause if not treated?

People who do not seek treatment could be at a higher risk of developing other mental health conditions and substance abuse disorders. They may also remain in abusive or dysfunctional relationships and live with ongoing life difficulties.

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