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Dependent Personality Disorder and Gender

Dependent personality disorder (PD) refers to a long-standing, maladaptive pattern of overreliance on interpersonal support, lack of confidence, passivity, and fears of abandonment that causes significant suffering at school, at work, or in relationships. Notions of normal versus abnormal dependency can be traced back to the early-20th-century psychoanalytic texts. Most developmental models even today fundamentally deal with the transition from normal, obligatory dependence in infancy to mature independence or interdependence in adulthood. Excessive dependency was largely considered a feature of other personality dysfunctions until the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, third edition (DSM-III), in 1980, introduced dependent PD as an (theoretically) independent diagnosis. Controversies surrounding dependent PD include potential gender bias and lack of diagnostic distinctiveness from other PDs (which remains an ...

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