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Dependent Personality Disorder: According To The Biopsychosocial Theory

1566 words - 6 pages

Dependent personality disorder (DPD) is a condition involving an over-reliance on others to meet emotional and/or physical needs. This disorder is the most frequently diagnosed disorder among anxious personality disorders. Because it is believed that mind and body are mutually dependent, there are multiple influences on healthy and less healthy physical and emotional development. The biopsychosocial theory is an existing perspective stating that most disorders may be a direct or indirect result of biological, psychological, and social factors. According to the theory, the etiology for DPD is a result of biological, psychological, and sociocultural dynamics.The signs of the disorder typically begin in early to middle adulthood in both men and women. Some symptoms include inability to make decisions or meet ordinary demands of life, feelings of devastation or helplessness when relationships end, being preoccupied with fears of being abandoned, and a consistency of avoiding responsibility. It can drastically affect ones life by leading to depression, alcohol or drug abuse, and makes one susceptible to physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.Although there are no proven causes for the development of DPD, "it most likely involves both biological and developmental factors" (Haines 2005). "It is suggested that genetic factors account for a relatively small portion of variability in dependency levels" (Ekleberry2000). Although it is mentioned that only a diminutive amount of dependency issues can be genetic, a twin experiment was completed that shows there is potential for a larger genetic piece that is responsible for certain traits.Theoretically, dependent personality disorder should reflect particularly the facets of altruism, compliance, and modesty. MZ twin studies show a .53 correlation in altruism and a .25 correlation in DZ twins, with dependent personality disorder; suggesting a genetic piece in the formation of potentially maladaptive traits (Nigg, J.T., Goldsmith, H.H. 1996).The results of the twin study performed by Nigg and Goldsmith is evidence that some biological factors influence the etiology of developing DPD.It is believed that past traumas and cognitions may be causes for developing dependent personality disorder. Similar to Freud's psychoanalytical reasoning, dependency issues may stem from the oral stage of infant development.According to classical psychoanalytic theory, dependency results from fixation inthe oral stage of development. Infants who were either frustrated or overindulged in this stage may later develop dependency behaviors. The child becomes dependent on the interactions between themselves and their caregivers, which later becomes the self concept of the individual (Millon, Davis 2000).Concerning the etiology for dependent personality disorder, the psychoanalytical reasoning is also applied for the belief that past traumas may have been experienced and are now being repressed. "If the mother is overly indulgent,...

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