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Dependent Personality Disorder (of the group of anxious personality disorders) is a personality disorder that is characterized by a pervasive psychological dependence on other people. DPD is often marked by feelings of helplessness, submissiveness, and a need to be taken care of, as well as a need for constant reassurance and an inability to make decisions. Also, the individual may go to extreme lengths to obtain support from others and has an unrealistic fear of being abandoned.
DPD is one of the most frequently diagnosed personality disorders, occurring equally in men and women, and usually appearing in early to middle adulthood. However, the difference between a ‘dependent personality’ and a ‘dependent personality disorder’ is somewhat subjective, which makes a diagnosis sensitive to cultural influences such as gender role expectations.
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