Avoidant vs. Dependent Personality Disorder: What you Need to Know


Personality Disorder

Personality disorders can affect the way a person thinks, behaves, perceives, and relates to others. Avoidant (AvPD) and dependent personality disorder (DPD) are two types of personality disorders that can significantly impact a person’s day-to-day functions and romantic relationships. Understanding the difference between the two may help you and/or your loved ones to know what to expect and when to seek help.

Avoidant Personality Disorder

People with AvPD feel extreme inhibition, feeling of inadequacy, and sensitivity to rejection, according to. Individuals with this disorder may avoid work activities or decline social offers due to fear of criticism or disappointment from others. These people likely do not have many close friends because of their fears, and they may be unwilling to try new and adventurous things because of the perceived difficulties involved. Research has shown a strong link between AvPD and childhood abuse (sexual, physical, and emotional), causing many to have trouble with intimacy and sexual encounters.

Dependent Personality Disorder

Individuals with DPD feel a longstanding need to be taken care of by someone; they fear of being abandoned or rejected and therefore engage in dependent and submissive behaviors to engage “care-giving” from others. This person may seem “clingy”, and they may have a deep fear of making choices on their own. People with this disorder believe that any form of criticism or rejection is further proof of their own “worthlessness”, and they may seek overprotection from someone they love and care about. A person with this disorder may exhibit symptoms such as feeling helpless when alone, urgently seeking another relationship when one has ended, has difficulty initiating projects, and has trouble expressing disagreements with others.

Many people with personality disorders engage in substance abuse to deal with their symptoms. Treatment for this requires a program that specializes in dual diagnosis. If you suspect that you have one of these disorders, the first step is obtaining a proper diagnosis from a licensed healthcare professional. Treatment often involves psychotherapy, where many therapists will employ cognitive-behavioral therapy, a form of treatment designed to help you replace old, negative thought patterns with newer, healthier, and more productive ones.

Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery treatment center. We specialize in dual diagnosis treatment, so if you have a personality disorder and have been self-medicating through substance abuse, call us today at 888-743-0490 for a consultation. Our licensed, experienced health care team will work with you to restore your mind, body, and spirit.