Dependent Personality Disorder and Substance Abuse

Dependent Personality Disorder falls into the category of anxious personality disorders, and can be most easily described as an overwhelming need to be cared for and reassured by others. This insatiable need results in unhealthy relationship dynamics between the individual and those close to them, as well as a substantial amount of dysfunction in day to day life. Here are some of the hallmarks of this personality disorder which often present in those suffering from it.

Those suffering from DPD are willing to sacrifice a great deal in order to receive the care and reassurance they desperately desire from others. They find themselves unable to complete simple tasks without input and validation from those around them, They are averse to any sort of personal responsibility, and find it difficult to begin any tasks or projects as they believe they are incapable of completing them successfully. An individual with DPD will find it incredibly uncomfortable to be alone, and will accept mistreatment and abuse from others in order to remain in their company. This terribly unhealthy relationship dynamic leaves little room for healthy, equal partnerships to form, and leaves the sufferer crippled and incapable of functioning as a productive member of society.

A negative self-image is common among those with DPD, as they feel incapable of handling basic tasks and self-care. This lack of self-esteem can easily lead to depression and substance abuse, as the individual seeks a means to cope with feelings of inadequacy and fear of abandonment. They are more than willing to sacrifice their needs for the needs of the individual they view as their caretaker, a situation which can easily lead to unhealthy and risky behaviors in order to please the caretaker. Like many other personality disorders, those suffering from DPD often feel incapable of seeking help for their disorder, so often their first point of contact with a therapist is in the context of substance abuse treatment. For this reason it is imperative for those seeking treatment for a substance abuse disorder to admit themselves to a treatment center equipped to handle co-occurring disorders, lest they have any underlying mental illnesses which have gone undiagnosed.

Dependent Personality Disorder is one of several anxiety disorders which can cripple a person’s ability to form healthy relationships and function in society. Symptoms of this disease vary but center around the individual’s belief that they are incapable of completing simple tasks or caring for themselves, and must rely on others to care for them. Feelings of inadequacy and a lack of self-confidence can easily lead the sufferer to self-medicate and develop a substance abuse disorder. These co-occurring illnesses need to be treated simultaneously if the individual is to have a substantial chance at achieving recovery. Evolutions Treatment Center has developed a treatment program able to be customized to the specific needs of each client, including these dual diagnosis cases. If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction and seems to exhibit some signs of a co-occurring disorder, call our Admissions Counselors today at 833-818-3031.

ABOUT EVOLUTIONS TREATMENT Evolutions is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center located in beautiful South Florida. Our holistic approach to addiction treatment centers around addressing and healing the underlying issues at the root of addiction, rather than merely medicating symptoms away.

Our treatment program includes individual and group-based therapy to help clients understand and manage their symptoms and emotions.

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, alcoholism, or any co-occurring disorders please call us at (833) 818-3031 or visit