Skip to main content

What Is Dependent Personality Disorder?

Learn about dependent personality disorder from psychiatrist Ankur Saraiya in this Howcast video.


Individuals with dependent personality disorder, as the name implies, tend to be dependent on other people in order to function. They see themselves as unable to function and to perform the basic tasks of getting by day to day and they need to have other people that they're associated with and very commonly they'll end up in a relationship with somebody whom they depend on to accomplish all the basic tasks in day to day life. The interesting thing about dependent personality disorder is that its a good example of some of the controversy in psychiatry over whether personality disorders are actually disorders or if they're just a variant of a certain type of person. And the reason I say that is because individuals with dependent personality disorder, as long as they can get into a relationship or a few relationships with people who are willing to provide the guidance that they need, they don't feel that anything is wrong with them. But the characteristics of these individuals is they will behave in such a way to avoid any kind of conflict and any kind of risk of being abandoned. So as a result they tend to suppress any negative emotions, most notably anger, and they'll go out of their way to be pleasing and obsequies and try to make the people that they feel they depend on like them and make sure they don't get rejected. So from a certain point of view, these individuals can get taken advantage of but its important to understand that generally speaking they themselves don't feel that they're being taken advantage of, because for them the fact that they're going to be taken care of is enough of a compensation that they don't mind providing for and making their partners happy. So that's basically an overview of dependent personality disorder.

Popular Categories