Dependent personality disorders share many similarities in symptoms and can often be difficult to diagnose.Psychologist Theodore Millon, Ph.D., identified and described five distinct subtypes of personality disorders related to dependent personality disorder. Dependent personality is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders under the category of personality disorders, along with its five subtypes, including disquieted, accommodating, immature, ineffectual and selfless dependent.
The disquieted dependent patient generally exhibits a mixture of dependent and avoidant characteristics. He or she is often sustained by an institution of some sort, which reinforces parasitic tendencies. Sufferers of this disorder have little or no desire for self-autonomy.
The disquieted dependent is lonely unless surrounded by authority figures at all times and is constantly apprehensive, fearing abandonment. This innate separation anxiety can be manifested in the form of anger towards people who fail to understand the disquieted dependent’s need for security. Other avoidant propensities include a disconcerted sense of dread and foreboding, restless perturbation and fretfulness.
Accommodating dependents also share a fear of abandonment, leading them to become insincerely ingratiating. As such, they can develop histrionic features, becoming overly compliant in their relationships and overwhelmingly conflict-avoidant, even at the expense of their core beliefs and values.
The accommodating dependent’s subordination allows the people around them to assume authority roles so that the dependent can avoid having to take on responsibility for his or her own decisions. The accommodating dependent has no self-worth, valuing only his or her relationships with others. The dependent may exhibit public displays of guilt, anxiety, depression and illness to attract support and deflect criticism.
As a variant on the pure pattern of dependent personality, the immature dependent has a permanently childlike view of the world, along with underdeveloped life skills to match. This type of dependent is extremely inexperienced and unsophisticated. For some patients, this stems from a lack of energy, while others are too easygoing and never develop any ambition.
A large percent of these patients find the responsibilities associated with adulthood, including assuming a fixed gender identity, frightening. Immature dependents often seem irresponsible and even neglectful to their immediate family members.
Ineffectual dependents exhibit schizoid tendencies along with dependence. They have little energy, are easily fatigued and mostly inexpressive and unspontaneous. Unlike patients with full-blown Schizophrenia, the ineffectual dependent can understand and empathize with the emotions of others, although not to a normal extent.
This subset of dependent personality lacks the drive to deal with adult responsibilities, choosing simply to ignore them. Ineffectual dependents adhere to a sort of fatalism, believing that nothing they do will make a difference in their lives.
Much like the accommodating dependent, the selfless dependent values relationships with others over his or herself, but to a much greater extent. This subset of dependent personality seeks to lose his or her identity and independence entirely by merging with others to achieve a sense of emotional stability. The accommodating dependent revolves his or her life around others, becoming masochistic because of a deep desire to please, while losing basic tenets of his or her own personality and beliefs in the process.
Disquieted, accommodating, immature, ineffectual and selfless dependent disorders all spring from the root of the same personality disorder. Treating patients with this mental abnormality involves using psychotherapy, medication and self-help methods to change their faulty cognition’s and behavioral patterns.
Source: Argosy University