Behavior expert Rocio Moustafa explores the struggles faced by those diagnosed with passive-dependent personality disorder from her office in Ventura, California.
Passive-dependent personality disorder is among the most common personality disorders routinely diagnosed by medical professionals and behavioral experts such as Rocio Moustafa, a specialist focused on health conditions and well-being complaints tied to mood, cognition, and perception, based in the pretty coastal city of Ventura, California. Here, she reveals a number of the many obstacles commonly faced by those suffering from the disorder.
“Passive-dependent personality disorder occurs equally in both men and women,” reveals Moustafa, “most often becoming evident in either young adulthood or slightly later in life as more important adult relationships are formed.”
Common traits among those diagnosed with passive-dependent personality disorder include pessimism, a lack of self-confidence, oversensitivity to criticism, and a tendency to be unduly naive or to routinely fantasize about various aspects of day-to-day life, according to Moustafa. “They may also endure difficulty in being alone, and, as a result, be open to tolerating mistreatment and abuse from other, less-than-favorable individuals,” she adds.
Rocio Moustafa goes on to explain that those with passive-dependent personality disorder often become entirely emotionally dependent on other people in their life. “They will usually spend a great deal of time and effort trying to please them,” she adds, “typically displaying clinging, needy behavior driven by a fear of rejection or separation.”
This may result in avoidance of normal adult responsibilities or utter dependence on a third party to make all manner of important life decisions, including where to work or live, for example, according to Moustafa. “A person with passive-dependent personality disorder will usually live in intense fear of abandonment, demonstrating utter devastation or complete helplessness when a relationship ends,” adds the expert.
Furthermore, an individual with passive-dependent personality disorder, she says, will often move immediately into a new romantic relationship when a previous one ends.
While no single, accepted cause for the disorder exists, it’s widely understood to be the result of a combination of developmental, biological, psychological, and temperamental factors. Research has also demonstrated that an authoritarian or overprotective parenting style may lead to the development of passive-dependent personality traits later in life.
Diagnosis, says Moustafa, typically first involves distinguishing between the possibility of either passive-dependent personality disorder or borderline personality disorder, with the two conditions sharing a number of similar symptoms. “Passive-dependent personality disorder is, however, distinct in that it presents as a crippling fear of abandonment, while in those with borderline personality disorder, the possibility of abandonment is, instead, met either with rage or emptiness,” she reveals.
“Assuming no physical basis for the condition is found,” Moustafa adds, wrapping up, “an individual deemed to be suffering from passive-dependent personality disorder will often be referred to a medical professional trained to deal with mental illnesses, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist, for ongoing treatment.”
Further to her in-depth knowledge of passive-dependent personality disorder, Ventura-based Californian behavior expert Rocio Moustafa’s other areas of expertise include bipolar, manic depressive, and sleep disorders, among numerous additional conditions related to cognition, perception, and mood.