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What is Dependent Personality Disorder? Mental Health Help with Kati Morton | Kati Morton



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What is Dependent Personality Disorder?

First I want to make sure you all understand that this is a personality disorder that we are very careful about diagnosing. There are many times in our lives when we may meet this criteria. It could be because we young and therefore unable to care for ourselves, or we may have a disability which makes it difficult for us to care for ourselves. All of these situations and circumstances need to be considered before making this diagnosis. That being said, many of us may struggle with Dependent Personality Disorder, so I will go over what it is and how it is diagnosed.

Dependent personality disorder is a mental health condition in which people struggle with the fear that they cannot care for themselves. They honestly believe that if they had to, they couldn’t. So they look to other people in their life to take care of them, tell them what to do, when to start a project, etc.

DSM-5
(1) has difficulty making everyday decisions without an excessive amount of advice and reassurance from others. They struggle to make any decision because they honestly fear that they won’t make the right one. So they look to others for support with it.

(2) needs others to assume responsibility for most major areas of his or her life. They feel like they cannot care for themselves, so they give the responsibility over to someone else that they think could do a better job.

(3) has difficulty expressing disagreement with others because of fear of loss of support or approval. Support or approval is so important to us, that we don’t want to fight in case that scares them away.

(4) has difficulty initiating projects or doing things on his or her own (because of a lack of self-confidence in judgment or abilities rather than a lack of motivation or energy). This can be hard in school or work because they are unable to do anything on their own or take the lead on a project.

(5) goes to excessive lengths to obtain nurturance and support from others, to the point of volunteering to do things that are unpleasant.

(6) feels uncomfortable or helpless when alone because of exaggerated fears of being unable to care for himself or herself.

(7) urgently seeks another relationship as a source of care and support when a close relationship ends. Like I have stated above, they worry so much about being able to care for themselves, that if one caretaker is gone, they will frantically find someone to fill that spot so that they can continue their life.

(8) is unrealistically preoccupied with fears of being left to take care of himself or herself. This is a core belief that anyone with DPD has, and this is why they try so hard to keep a caretaker in their life and give them the responsibility of making their life decisions.

If you are struggling with this, know that you are not alone! Also, please reach out for help, because the sooner we start talking about and working on our struggles, the sooner we can start to feel better.

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28 comments

  1. My bf has this. .😢 he wants me to come to him..but I can't bcoz of my studies & problems idk wat to do to keep him up

  2. and this is a disorder? how?

  3. I just got diagnosed today officially and correctly with borderline personality disorder and dependent personality disorder. I feel my greatest fear in life is moving out of my parents house (I'm 24) and not being able to care for myself. My parents are verbally abusive and toxic and I need to move out for my mental safety but I'm too afraid to do so. I'm currently seeing a new therapist who is helping me with DBT therapy and I hear good things will come from it. My greatest relief with not being bipolar (my previous diagnosis, incorrect) is that personality disorders are not genetic so this is not something that I have to take meds for and when I was born, I had no disorders mentally nor physically. This is because of shitty parenting from a narcissistic dad and alcoholic mother who knew nothing of what care and love is and still don't know. They're both selfish and will manipulate me to satisfy their sick desires. I am currently dealing with resentment towards them and NEED to move out but my dpd makes that impossible. This is literally a nightmare.

  4. What book are you reading from?

  5. Kati, I have autism and I am dependent upon my husband. I feel uncomfortable making decisions because I feel like I'm not allowed (I don't earn the money, ect) But also to the point where I feel I'm not even allowed to decide whether I can have a baby without asking permission from my parents from whom I'm estranged… Is this DPD or is this simply the fact that I'm autistic and am therefore dependent to a certain degree because I simply am not fitting in right with the Neurotypical world and I can't feel like I can ever adjust to it enough to be able to support myself…?

  6. I am suffering from this so badly rn in this time in my life. It’s the worst thing ever.

  7. there is a guy that I follow the whole day

  8. I have dependent personality disorder along with histrionic and borderline personality traits. I’ve been told that I constantly cling to people and excessively ask for reassurance from others.

  9. Hey guys, I've actually been diagnosed with DPD. If I had to describe what it is actually like, it would be like being unable to say or do anything without knowing if it is alright. Never wanting to do anything, and always trying to avoid doing things. The main reason I feel that way is because of fear. When I think of doing something that I have not seen as okay from my dad I get a feeling of fear that prevents me from doing it. It can range from extreme anxiety (I know he doesn't like this behavior) to milder anxiety (I don't know if he likes this or doesn't like this behavior), to no anxiety (I'm doing something with him, or I have seen him do this thing before). I'm constantly monitoring what I do, and I can't really do anything comfortably right now except play video games and occasionally leave the house to get food. I am also 30, and I have never been employed because my dad has never told me or asked me to get a job.

    I just dropped out of one of my college classes because I was unable to write a 6 page essay on an assigned book. The book was not difficult to read, but it was very difficult to do the act of reading. I kept stopping because of very strong anxiety and fear. Every essay I have written in college is written 2 days before it is due, and this time I really just didn't feel like putting myself in that kind of stress, so I dropped the class instead of writing the essay. I drop 1 to 2 classes a semester like this, and I have a lot of W's.

    Those are a few examples of what DPD is like. Hopefully it can help someone here know if they might have DPD. If you have any questions feel free to ask.
    P.S. if you think you have DPD please go see a psychiatrist for an actual diagnosis and get proper medical treatment.

  10. i used to struggle with this,i came a long way by helping myself!

  11. This is long, but i dont know what to do.
    I have a neighbour.
    She has been in an abusive relationship for years.
    She didnt necessarily stay because shes was afraid of him, she was afraid she would have to give up work and be full time mum. (She told me this flat.)
    She would kick her husband out and come to me. Spend two days sorting her life out, then she has hin back and doesnt speak to me for months again. (He apparently beat her up every time she spoke to me, but i havent any actual evidence this is true.)

    Now she has met someone else. She left her husband for this new bloke. (She wouldnt fully end her relationship until she had someone else.)
    She has called me repeatedly, 4 times a day the last week. She calls me early in the am asking if i want a coffee. If i go to hers she wont let me leave for hours.
    Saturday i said i would go to an appointment with her (english is her second language.) Appointment was at 1.30 we we had to leave at 1.
    She text me at 7.45 for a cigarette. called me at 9.30 as i hadnt responded. I went to give her a cigarette (she lives directly opposite) and my friend 2 doors down from her gave me back my carseat. Because i was literally 50 seconds, she called me again!
    I go round, doesnt let me leave until 12.10pm. I said i need to go if we're going to this appointment!
    12.40pm and she calls me again to ask "where are you?"

    She expects me to leave my 15 year old to take of my younger kids so i can go and "have coffee" with her, with no notice. If i cant because i am busy, she'll call later that day. And call, until i answer.

  12. All the time with a every decision i cant decide because i think i would make the wrong choice. My solution was to say " I dont know" , "I cant decide"

  13. My friend whom I was really attached to suggested that I had this, and i fit the criteria sorta but I'm definitely not dependent enough. I clearly want to leave my mom's house, I want to become independent.

  14. Hi does anyone know where I can contact Kati? I would love to her take on where/how manipulators 'learn' their tactics? And also just to tell her how brilliant she is!! Thanks

  15. I think I have the opposite problem. I'm very avoidant.

  16. I think they are just plain lazy.

  17. Is there a spectrum for this. Some of this applies for me, but not on a grand scale. I have mad anxiety at being alone and give people too much power in my life. But I can function on the basics. I also have my own opinion but someone else will make me second guess.

  18. I also like how you adopt the second-person pronoun to discuss disorders even though you don't likely have most of them yourself. It has a calming and destigmatizing effect.

  19. You did a good job of explaining how situational factors are important to consider before diagnosing someone with a personality disorder, because people are so quick to see themselves in descriptions and can become confused about what's really going on with them.

  20. Is it like fear of being alone ??

  21. This is possible if those around you make you feel as so which can make people react as such

  22. I depend on my 2 best friends to help me make decisions and I always listen to there advice even if it’s bad advice. I also can’t live without them. and I fear that I won’t have a job or life when I’m older because I’ve been so dependent on them. I also go out with them even though I hate going outside of my house…..:/

  23. I don't think I have this but I relate to this a lot. I always think other people know better than me. And even if I think they're making the wrong choice, I won't say anything because I just think they're "probably" making the right choice, so I'll just go along with it.

  24. Hi Kati, What is personality in psychological terms and how can we stay moderate without it becoming a personality disorder? How can I understand my personality type and stay normal?

  25. The way you say diagnosis hurts

  26. Kati, somewhat off topic here, but what you were saying at the beginning of the video triggered me…. what should someone do if they go see a psychotherapist and they end up diagnosing you with something that doesn’t feel like it clicks or resonates with what you’re describing to them? What if you bring this up with them, and the psychotherapist is adamant about it? Do you leave that therapist? Is the therapist being abusive?

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