Dependent personality disorder

Threatened by self-reliance, they take shelter in submission.

To be sure, people need people. We survive as social creatures. Mental health is partly defined by strong emotional attachments to the people we love and a supple interdependence. Any of us may become perturbed when important people disappoint us. But for some, the relationship becomes one-sided and fraught. Although the distinction between normal and unhealthy dependence may be a matter of degree, psychiatrists have identified a personality disorder associated with such one-sided relationships.

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