Q. Is dependent personality disorder (DPD) only found in women?
No. Dependent personality disorder (DPD) is much more common in women, but it also is found in males. Some experts have suggested that American society rewards dependent behavior in females but punishes the same behavior in males, so social pressures may contribute to the observation that more females appear to have the condition.
Q. Is DPD an inherited condition?
The answer is not clear. There appears to be a tendency for the disorder to run in families, but this may be related to family patterns of dealing with autonomy and independence rather than genetic factors. More research is necessary to distinguish the two potential influences.
Q. Is it a good idea to force a dependent young adult to leave home and be financially independent?
In most cases, no. A young adult who has difficulty leaving home should be carefully evaluated by a mental health professional to determine the cause of the trouble and find an appropriate diagnosis. The family may participate in the evaluation as well. An abrupt emotional or financial cutoff may risk triggering a serious crisis in a person who is intensely anxious about abandonment.
Q. Can a person with DPD take medication to manage the symptoms?
The current research on medications for DPD is very limited. While some preliminary studies suggest that some dependent traits may respond to certain types of antidepressants, there is not enough evidence to firmly recommend the value of medication for DPD.
Q. What type of individual psychotherapy is best for treating DPD?
No studies have specifically focused on using one type of psychotherapy or another for treating DPD. Nevertheless, some research suggests that both psychodynamic therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy may be effective in many patients with dependent personality disorder. It is not known if one therapy works better than the other in treating the condition.
Ploskin, D. (2007). Frequently Asked Questions about Dependent Personality Disorder. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 19, 2013, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/2007/frequently-asked-questions-about-dependent-personality-disorder/
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Jan 2013
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.