What is addictive personality disorder (DPD)?


Dependent personality disorder (ADD) is one of several personality disorders described in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Someone with DPD has an inordinate and general need for grooming. The condition belongs to a group of personality disorders characterized by a high level of anxiety .

Personality disorders can make it difficult to establish healthy relationships and can be serious enough to affect functioning in daily life.

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The symptoms of DPD can be difficult to control. Personality disorders do not require an approved standard drug treatment, but therapy is often an important part of a DPD treatment plan. With treatment, a person with this condition has a high chance of getting better.

Here are some more things to know about DPD, including its common symptoms and how to manage them.


People with addicts often depend on their loved ones for their emotional and physical needs. They tend to feel powerless and find it difficult to make day-to-day decisions as they may feel like they can't do it alone.

Common symptoms of DPD include:

  • Fear of being alone
  • Avoid initiative or responsibility
  • Sensitivity to criticism
  • Lack of opinions


A primary care physician can perform an initial DPD evaluation, but must refer you or your loved one to a licensed mental health professional for a formal diagnosis.

Based on the criteria outlined in DSM-5, DPD will be diagnosed with five of the following eight symptoms:

  • The inability to make day-to-day decisions without the guarantees of others.
  • Allow others to make important decisions in their lives.
  • You agree with people even if they think they are wrong; fear of losing approval
  • Difficulty starting projects due to doubts
  • Perform unpleasant and overwhelming tasks to earn the approval of others.
  • You don't like being alone with a feeling of helplessness.
  • Devastated when the close relationship ends and he is urgently looking for a replacement.
  • A preoccupation with the fear of being abandoned and left alone.

Diagnosing personality disorders can be challenging because clinical symptoms can overlap with those of other mental illnesses. For example, major depressive disorder has common symptoms with DPD, which can lead to a person being misdiagnosed or undiagnosed.

The diagnosis is also complicated by the high degree of comorbidity, the presence of two or more conditions at the same time, in people with personality disorders.

Responsibility of the patient

To ensure you get an accurate diagnosis, it is important to have an open and thorough discussion about your symptoms with your healthcare provider. Giving your doctor this vital information will reduce the chances of a misdiagnosis and allow you to receive treatment as soon as possible.

Did you know

You can request to share your past medical history with your current doctor.

The exact cause of DPD is unknown, but the condition has been linked to a variety of risk factors including genetics, environment, and development.

For example, people with DPD are more likely than people without the condition to experience:

Family history

While having a close relative of DPD increases the likelihood of developing the disease, this does not mean that you will definitely develop DPD.

Watch out

Personality disorders are often difficult to treat; however, medications can be part of your treatment plan if you have a mental health condition other than DPD.


The main treatment for personality disorders is therapy. Various types of psychotherapy can be used to treat personality disorders.

Examples of some of the most common methods used:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) : The goal of this type of therapy is to help people learn to identify and change destructive or dysfunctional thought patterns.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) : This type of CBT aims to teach people to manage their emotions more effectively and to be more caring and effective in their relationships with others.
  • Psychodynamic therapy : This method is a form of talk therapy that helps people better understand their underlying motivations.
  • Family therapy : This type of therapy aims to address problems that specifically affect mental health and family functioning.



If someone with DPD also has another mental illness, such as depression or anxiety, some medications may be prescribed to help control their symptoms.

  • Anxiety medications : can quickly reduce symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks. The most common type are benzodiazepines (sedatives).
  • Antidepressants : The most commonly prescribed antidepressants for anxiety and depression are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Front facing

If you have DPD, it is very important to seek professional support. Learning to live and manage your symptoms will also be a key part of your recovery.

Some of the anti-DPD elements you will be working on include:

  • Treatment continuation : Make sure to keep your appointments and therapy sessions. Don't stop taking medicine without checking with your doctor.
  • Knowing your triggers : A therapist can help you identify the underlying causes of your symptoms and teach you techniques for dealing with triggers. Practicing these strategies will help reduce anxiety.
  • Self-service practice . Taking care of your body and mind means getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and eating a nutritious diet. It is also important to avoid alcohol and other substances that can aggravate your symptoms.

How to maintain a relationship with DPD

While there is nothing wrong with talking to those around you about the decisions you are making, if you have DPD, you may automatically turn to other people for help.

If you feel unable to do something alone, it can negatively affect your relationships with family, friends, partners, children, and colleagues. Part of your treatment will be developing skills that will help you maintain healthy relationships with others.

Examples of things you can work on while you recover include:

  • Practice self-reliance and assertiveness skills.
  • Learn to deal with fears of loneliness
  • Decision making practice
  • Learn to be comfortable alone.
  • Learn to express disagreement productively

How to help a loved one with DPD

If your loved one has DPD, you can support them:

  • Take a step back and let them make their own decisions
  • Encourage them to take responsibility for household chores.
  • Encourage them to express their true opinion.

Frequently asked questions

How is DPD different from BPD?

Both borderline personality disorder (BPD) and BPD are characterized by fear of abandonment. However, unlike DPD, where someone may respond to this fear with submissive or stubborn behavior, people with BPD respond to these experiences with symptoms of anger, impulsivity, and aggression and tend to view the world as black and white without a middle ground.

A person with BPD also often has an unstable and intense relationship.

What is the treatment for addictive personality disorder like?

For most people, therapy will be the main treatment for DPD. If you have comorbid mental health problems, such as depression or anxiety, your treatment plan may also include medications.

Can I have a healthy relationship with DPD?

If you have DPD, you can have a healthy relationship. Part of your treatment plan will be to develop strategies to help you maintain healthy relationships with the people around you.

How reliable is DSM?

Using DSM does not eliminate the risk of misdiagnosis. Diagnostic criteria in the DSM for DPD have not changed significantly since 1987.

It is recognized that DSM has improved the reliability of psychiatric diagnosis; however, there are many more factors that can affect the reliability of a typical psychiatric interview.

According to some experts, the limitations mean that the reliability of psychiatric diagnoses remains relatively low.

Get the word of drug information

Addictive personality disorder can negatively affect a person's life, especially their relationships with others. However, with proper treatment, a person can learn to maintain a healthy relationship.

Talk therapy is often the most effective way to help people with DPD. If you have DPD and another mental illness such as depression, your doctor may prescribe medications such as antidepressants.

If your loved one has DPD, you can support them by encouraging them to express their feelings and opinions and allowing them to make their own decisions.

If you have DPD or love someone with DPD, joining a support group, in person or online, can also be helpful.

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