A dependent personality disorder is an abnormal attachment and an unreasonable attraction to a specific person. Attachment, passion for a person refers to socially significant conditions necessary for existence in society. However, sometimes this condition develops into an obsession and takes on a pathological appearance.
The severity of the situation is due to the possibility of severe mental illness. The object of psychological dependence can be parents; a loved one, a friend. The described addiction is manifested by total control, loss of self-control, and a pathological urge to constantly stay close to the subject of addiction.
Causes of Dependent Personality Disorder
The modern world is full of temptations. Interactive television, high-speed Internet, couch store, affordable shopping – all of the above, when combined, reduce the adaptive potential of a person. As a result, various pathological attachments arise: to a particular behavioral pattern, type of activity, occupation, developing into dependence.
Conditionally, psychological dependence on a person can be divided into several degrees of severity.
The first degree is characterized by getting used to specific conditions of life, the standard of living, comfort and is called everyday life.
The conditional degree is characterized by gravitation towards the object, manifested in the desire to receive emotional responses, joy, and positive.
An unhealthy, tough, neurotic passion consists in a feeling of terrible fear and painful sensations at the thought that the object of attachment will disappear from the life of the addict.
With obsessive attachment, the dependent person completely loses himself, submitting to the will of another.
Psychological dependence on a person most often takes its origins from childhood. Children can take all of their mother’s free time, demanding her obedience. In the older period, such individuals resort to constant manipulation, making the mother dependent on them.
Matured children are not able to give; they are taught only to receive. With unformed willpower and personal qualities, the kid sees the meaning of his being in adherence to a self-sufficient personality.
The following are the factors leading to psychological dependence:
- low self-esteem;
- children’s complexes, leading to the formation of erroneous fears and subordination to them;
- total control over the child or overprotection (the kid did not have the opportunity to make personal decisions, he was not allowed to make his own mistakes);
- excessive criticism of children against a background of lack of praise;
- disrespectful parental attitude towards the baby;
- the desire to meet someone’s expectations, the desire to become ideal for someone.
Also, dependent personality disorder rise during:
- the view that love is an obligation to divide everything in half, which is replaced by the absorption of the partner’s desires and the inability to assess personal needs sensibly;
- the gravitation to become a part of the being of another purposeful, independent personality;
- incorrect perception of one’s strength;
- lack of proper motivation;
- The desire to find himself in the subordination of someone powerful, authoritarian, a person who resembles a parent who kept him under total control in childhood.
It is difficult to overcome anxiety for people who, in childhood, did not learn to love and appreciate themselves. Such individuals convince themselves that fear is an objective fear, and all adverse situations only confirm this.
Relationships, weak and improperly formed personalities, are not considered deserved: they tend to feel affection, but they do not know how to perceive attention. Any factors influencing the maturation of the personality also affect self-perception, presenting oneself as an equal partner.
The basis of any dependence is the desire to level control, to get rid of the control of existence, with which a person does not know what to do.
Signs of Dependent Personality Disorder
Many manifestations characterize the considered option of dependence. Symptoms are due to the personality of the addict, social role, stress resistance. Common manifestations of psychological dependence are uncertainty, mood swings, compliance, compliance, apathy, panic attacks, sudden aggressiveness, depression.
The follower subconsciously draws for himself the expected image of being, which rarely coincides with reality. Frustration only multiplies addiction, turning it from a simple habit into a defensive reaction.
The addict forgets his interests and concentrates entirely on the object. Relatives, friends, colleagues suffer from addiction, seeing the transformations taking place in a person.
Relatives strive to point out bad changes, but the whole stream of accumulated aggression of the victim pours out on them. The follower does not want to admit his subservience; otherwise, he will have to overcome it.
The signs of dependent personality disorder on a person are due to its varieties, the main difference of which is the object of addiction. They are connected by a mechanism of influence, developed based on interpersonal relations.
The most common variation of addiction is considered to be love. It is terrifying in its consequences. Love addiction develops gradually. Initially, the couple spends all the time together, gradually stopping to communicate with friends. The result is that partners can no longer exist without each other.
The thinnest line separating love and emotional dependence is the presence of a bit of free space. The weak half is more prone to this variation of dependence. A sign of psychological dependence on a person here is the constant demand to confirm the partner’s love and loyalty, unreasonable jealousy, and the threat of breakup.
The addict pesters the chosen one with endless calls, numerous SMS. The result of this behavior is a loss of individuality. The addict begins to be tormented by disturbing thoughts of an annoying nature,
Friendly addiction differs from ordinary friendship by encroachment on the free space of a friend. People who are connected by friendship can spend time with other friends quite calmly. The addict feels uncomfortable among strangers.
Signs of such a variety of addictions are: jealousy of a friend’s comrades, claims are filled with emotions and often not controlled, addicts spend all their free time together, sometimes have a common home, anxiety in the absence of a friend for a long time. The consequences of such a friendship will be melancholy, stress, despondency.
Parental psychological dependence is primarily due to overprotection. Adults control practically every action of the child without giving him the right to miscalculate or make mistakes. As the crumbs mature, parental care becomes more active.
The manifestation of excessive parental attachment is the unwillingness to release the child from the parental home. The result of such psychological dependence is the child’s lack of independence, the inability to stand up for himself, the inability to make decisions, and the inability to solve problems; in any situation, he consults with his mother, with minimal danger panics.
You may also like to read: Toxic Friendship: How to Recognize and Get Rid of It?
How to Get Rid of Dependent Personality Disorder?
A person who realizes that he is in a relationship of psychological dependence, that his attachment is essentially unhealthy, has already passed most of the path of liberation from the destructive addiction.
Getting rid of unhealthy cravings begins with the realization that independence and self-sufficiency are not dangerous. An adult is quite capable of solving issues on his own and taking responsibility for his actions.
After realizing, you need to understand that everyone needs personal space. Therefore, the next stage of liberation is defining the boundaries of personal space, separating one’s interests from the aspirations of the object of dependence, awareness of personal significance. The most elementary way of liberation is to end the relationship and search for private interests temporarily.
Dependents who have begun to think about how to get rid of psychological dependence on a person need to stop identifying themselves only with the role they play – spouse, child, friend; you need to remember that, first of all, each individual is an independent person. After that, you can start looking for your interests, determining personal needs, creative inclinations, and revising life attitudes.
Often it is impossible to cope with psychological dependence on your own due to a person’s misunderstanding of the severity of the situation and the inability to assess what is happening adequately.
The following methods can help couples cope with the problem of unhealthy attachment:
- work with thinking (increasing self-esteem, developing an understanding of one’s significance as an individual);
- work with the body (restoration of lost love for oneself through exercise);
- self-hypnosis or hypnotherapy (substitution through the suggestion of attitudes with images that change thinking).