Dependent Personality Disorder and Addiction in Children
Early signals of attachment styles in children can indicate if they will grow to be dependent or independent adolescents. Dependency in early adolescent stages can prove to be a detriment when peers begin experimenting with drugs and alcohol.
Symptoms Of Dependent Personality Disorder
- The child relies upon parents to make everyday decisions they should be autonomous in making by an adolescent age including: what to wear, in what order to take care of their responsibilities, what to eat for breakfast, how to decide on after-school activities, etc.
- Parents still feel responsible for stepping in to complete school projects, come up with reasons for their children’s inability to participate, and more. The adolescent child is incapable of completing their own project or responsibilities. A certain level of helplessness, panic, or hysteria sets in.
- Children will not be disagreeable. This can lead to bullying, unnecessary ridicule from teachers, or other unjust circumstances in which a child will not be able to stand up for himself without the aid of his parents. A significant fear of being rejected, abandoned, or losing something prevents him from taking action.
- Laziness might seem like a problem when they don’t take initiative to complete simple chores, do homework, or start early on a project. Instead, children with DPD struggle with a debilitating lack of confidence in their own abilities, even to do simple tasks.
- Parents feel they cannot leave their child alone in the house because of the seemingly paranoid fears which can take over.
One of the most significant and high-risk symptoms of dependent personality disorder in children is the way that they will desperately seek love, attention, and the feeling of being nurtured from others. Because children with a dependent personality aren’t confident in their ability to stand up for themselves, speak their opinion, or even say no, they are vulnerable to drugs and alcohol. In order to fit in with peers who pressure them, bully them, or make them feel insecure, they might agree to enduring any kind of abuse, which can include being forced into substance abuse. Once this happens, there is a shift from being parent-dependent to being peer-dependent. Children might use phrases like “they care about me” or “they’re my friends” despite their parents’ pleas to point out the contrary.
Intervention with co-occurring dependent personality disorder and substance use disorder should take place as early as possible. With treatment and therapy, your child will learn how to become a whole individual, filled with the love they need to provide for themselves. Through John I we are reminded that, as children of God, we need only rely upon His love. In chapter four, verse sixteen we read “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love, lives in God, and God in them.” Ultimately, God provided us with the greatest gift of love he could through Christ, His son.
Give your son the gift of proven addiction treatment. At Stonewater Recovery Center, we give each child the love and attention they need through individualized treatment programs focused on using faith, clinical treatment, and academic progress. For more information on our continuum of care, call us today at 1-662-598-4214.