What is Dependent Personality Disorder? Kati Morton

Publicat pe 13 ian. 2015
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.

I'm Kati Morton, a licensed therapist making Mental Health videos!
Every Tuesday & Friday I post a journal prompt to help keep you motivated and working on yourself! rotorrentinfojoin
Ordering my book
Are u ok?
I do not currently offer online therapy, but I have partnered with BetterHelp who can connect you with a licensed, online counselor in your area: tryonlinetherapy.com/katimorton
Do you want to help me support the creation of mental health videos? www.katimorton.com/kati-morton-patreon/
Help Caption Our Videos
Business email: linnea@toneymedia.com
PO Box #665 1223 Wilshire Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90403
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call a local emergency telephone number or go immediately to the nearest emergency room.


  • I’m afraid I have this...

  • I feel called out.

  • this is me and i need help. i feel like i am in an abusive relationship and i want to leave but i feel like i cant.

  • You remind me of Anna Farris

  • I have Independent personality Disorder. So i find this disorder strange.

  • I think I may have this. I always thought I felt this way because of my Aspergers.

  • I have atleast 2-3 of these consistently, one of these is not believing i can do the project right, another is needing others opinions to make a decision. I've improved on these points, but I still have a way to go. I looked up this video because I feel like something is wrong with me, I feel like in a way i am mentally dependent, I would depend on my sister to talk for me as a kid and never really learned how to do things myself because others would always do it for me. I felt very strangled and eventually gave up doing it for myself.

  • I am so dependent on everything. In my chosen profession it is not good to be in this situation. 😥

  • Is it possible that i might have this disorder but i don’t have or search for anyone to depend on ? Trying every day to imagine someone who orders me in my head Or by a video But doesn’t work

  • This is some fake ass shit. We're meant to live interdependently. This is a cultural diagnosis not something inherently biological

  • This is my favourite hair length on you!

  • This makes me so worried for my future... My mom is very controlling and does everything for me, for example, clean my room, do my laundry, drive me to and from work, etc. and I'm 25, and despite people telling her to stop, she has forced me to develop this as well as avoidant PD. Like others in the comments, I'm afraid of what will happen after my parents are gone and they're in their 60s and 80s (I was adopted). I've been in therapy on and off since the age of six but was never given a diagnosis for a PD, just GAD, SAD, depression and bipolar disorder when I was hospitalized for self harming but I do not agree with that diagnosis to this day. I wish I could stop wearing some kind of mask in therapy and open up fully to discuss my issues and maybe get some help but it's so hard. I have no friends right now and am very isolated and I only see my issues spiraling downward as time goes on...

  • The hand waving is distracting. I've always associated it with the uneducated.

    • Dennis - she likes to be the center of attention... she forces her personality into the topic.

  • There is *much wisdom* in this beautiful young clinician. And I am grateful for her counsel.

  • My mom is like this i think. She wouldn't fix the dang vcr because she had to wait for her husband to get home. I was like mom, just plug in the white and yellow and red here. She just wouldn't do it. She has always been in a relationship my whole life. I have never known her not to be. She allows herself to be treated terribly too. I know she was always punished as a child, her mom was like mommy dearest chick. Anyways, I think this fits.... oh and she was super mean too. I read that they can be very abusive.

  • Out of complete left field I got diagnosed with this today and it makes so much sense because I've always struggled with doing anything without people there to emotionally support me. No matter how bad I want to do something I can't do it if someone won't be there with me.

  • esp men, there're men who can't get along without friends, they can't forget the downer... they can breed a gay quality...

  • I have a friend who is absolutely helpless without his wife. She is his rock, and without her, he falls apart. Trouble is, they recently separated, and I get to witness his falling apart. It is ugly. He lost his job, his wife, and his car all within about 3 months. I fear he will end up institutionalized.

  • Why do all my personalities think they the dominant one

  • Is that people who let people abuse and take advantage of them out of fear of being alone.

  • You are excellent at Italian sign language 👍

  • What if some one has DPD-BPD-PSTD? What the hell do with them.

  • Kati, is there a known condition that describes a person who experienced brutally authoritarian parents to the point that the person is unable to assert any agency at all for fear of failing to please the person being interacted with? The person is eventually driven to solitude because any interaction holds the potential of disapproval or even just dis-agreement. The person cannot risk doing anything that might draw criticism and eventually collapses under the weight of self-condemnation. Thanks!

  • I know I have avoidance personality disorder mixed in with dependent personality disorder. It's not diagnosed, because I have no money to get diagnosed and the low cost facilities for mental help only offer therapists, not psychologists. I would have to call universities to get help, which would cost a lot. I feel like this is all a joke. I want help, but there's no one there to help me; the system is failing me.

  • My friend is textbook this disorder. I thought she was just excessively needy. Thanks for clearing that up for me. Now I can move on because giving the therapy she needs is way above my pay grade. What's scary is the camping trip our families take next week. I wish I could back out. She has already been plotting for help with meal prep and setting up her tent and keeping the kids occupied and making them behave. And I know she means for me to do it all. She has a husband! I'm already exhausted by her.

  • What is always confusing when trying to understand these. My loved one I am trying to understand how they work seems to fit in most all personality disorders. I love my sister but how do I figure out what is wrong to help her? She has no friends and doesn’t seem to want any. She only has a guy she’s with. She’s had two divorces, and the first was the affair she had and she married the guy she had affair with. Then she dumped him to curb with no emotion and started throwing herself at this guy who didn’t want her back. She had a full on break down to point where she was running down street in middle of the night not know who she was and unable to sleep having voices talking to her when she’s never had any evidence of schizophrenia. She was never close to me nor did I ever have a deep conversation with her. She’s doesn’t have a clear set of beliefs or things that matter to her. She watches some tv shows and movies and wants her life to be like a romantic movie then doesn’t know what reality is. The guy rejected her decided weeks later he wanted to date her again and she drops everything. It took 2 weeks to stabilize her st mental health facility. She loves my kids and is a very responsible person. She never was violent or anything even when she was going crazy. She has always had low self esteem. Does anyone know what is wrong with her? I just want to know what I’m supposed to do

  • Just got ran over by a whole group of people for getting too attatched to a friend. Now I feel bad, and I have been looking for a relationship for years. This sounds like me, I have been looking for someone who has similar issues so we could work on them together. Would that be a bad thing?

    • Are there any groups that are available for this?

  • I'm diagnosed with DPD and I can confirm it's very controlling.

  • Excellent explenation thank you

  • Even i hv seen this vd i'm still dependent on that person to approve or say that yes u're suffering from this DPD

  • I am clingy and kind of like this, but not exactly. I can be without others and know how to do things by myself. I'm like a quarter of this. I also have a friend that is the same as me (in terms of this) and relies on me. They rely on me for anything school related (I'm in 8th grade) and hate being without me during lunch. But she doesn't have dpd

  • Dependency, like fairness, is for children. You have to grow out of dependency into a real independence, and once you know how to be independent you can learn to be interdependent, you can collaborate with people without being excessively reliant on them. People that never learn to individuate from their parents or other caregiver situation never foster independence in themselves, and they remain clingy and in fear for their entire lives. Such people are a burden on somebody like a marriage partner. And others!

  • I swear she reminds me of Nicole Sullivan.

  • Shit..!

  • Its absolutely terrifying and extremely embarrassing to have this disorder. I have this and Im so scared to even show this video to my family because I am so scared theyre going to leave. I know its silly and irrational to think that way, but its a very real fear. Im so tired of living like this. Im sure a lot of others who are suffering feel the same way.

  • U r so good now i understand what is DPD thank u so much

  • Thanks for the video

  • Let me guess if you depend on the government that's a disorder too???

  • Sounds like my sister in law. Master Mooch of the Universe. She’s unable to take care of herself or to take responsibility for any of her choices/actions. She’s almost 40 and still lives with her Mom. She’s won the Victim Academy Awards many times.

  • Her hands.... omg chill them out.

  • im not dependent i just like drugs very much

  • I believe I have this but I’m learning to make God the one I depend on. I’m learning to walk by faith and walk in his love. The thought of my parents dying one day tares me apart. I don’t really want a long life full on responsibility. I’d rather die young and get to be in heaven with my Heavenly Father, I also deal with depression, it’s hard for me to smile. But the thought of becoming a more independent person in the future makes me smile. I think I can do it!

  • Is there a counterpart to this? Most of my past significant others seem like this. I’ve read up on co-dependency, but don’t have the desire to control associated with it. To be honest, the girls I’ve known that seem like they have DPD seem just super feminine, such to the point they can’t handle practical aspects of life.

  • This is so interesting. As a self aware codependent, how can I ease the hold I have over my 'favorite person'? I know I have depended on this person but I feel that it takes a toll on her. She might want to spend time with other people but feels like she cant leave me alone. its really not fair. I want to let her know that its okay for us not to be so close anymore (it's also really hard for me) but i know this will hurt her since she is a genuinely good person incapable of turning her back on someone. However I feel like these boundaries will help us both. I'd appreciate advice especially from anyone who feels they support a codependent. How would you like to set boundaries in a non-hostile manner in a way that can preserve the friendship?

  • 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

  • and this is a disorder? how?

  • 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.

  • Credentials?????

  • What book are you reading from?

  • Crazy hand motion.

  • 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...?

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

  • there is a guy that I follow the whole day

  • 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.

    • Story of my life :(

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

    • I just dont know what to do as she lives opposite, has no other friends or family here. Just her new bf and me. But she affects my mental health so severely, i dread opening my curtains as i know as soon as she knows i am up, she will call.

  • 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"

    • Lol.. I remember when I went to therapy and when I had to talk about something I just say "I don't know".. I was so afraid to say something than didn't like it to the therapist.. I don't know if that fits in this disorder.. Sorry for mistakes, my english is poor..

  • 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.

  • 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

    • Love to get* her take