Trait Nine – Pathological personality traits in negative affectivity – Separation insecurity: Fears of excessive dependency and complete loss of autonomy. (DSM5)

In my search of the literature, I found one article that indirectly dealt with fear of dependency and loss of autonomy by including it as part a subtype called discouraged borderline disorder (1). It is marked by noticeable clinginess and a passive follower type of mentality.  Descriptors of discouraged borderline includes excessive dependence upon others, low self-esteem, and continuous feelings of insecurity. They may feel hopeless, helpless, powerless, and depressed. There may be a reliance on fantasy or substance abuse as a means to escape. While on the outside a person with fear of dependency may seem indecisive and weak-willed, they normally experience internal turmoil and feel bitterness toward those around them.

The causes may involve many different factors. These include biological factors such as a smaller hippocampus or amygdala and genetic predispositions involving a combination of genes that occur in chromosome 9. Life factors include childhood trauma or neglect, family instability levels, and negative social experiences as a child. People with the disorder often have other illnesses including PTSD, major depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and substance abuse.

This diagnosis is often seen more in women than in men; however, some research suggests that this tendency affects men and women equally, but women are just more likely to seek treatment or to be officially diagnosed with BPD. Each year men and women with BPD make up a large chunk of the recorded suicides. Research indicates that women attempt more suicides but men tend to have more suicide deaths. So if you or someone you know is at risk for suicide because of this trait, it is important that you get help as soon as possible.

Psychotherapy is the primary method used for managing and treating discouragement BPD. Antipsychotics might be used to reduce anger or suicidal tendencies as well as impulsivity, psychotic paranoid symptoms, anxiety, and depression thereby opening the door to a more successful psychological therapy. It is important to understand that these medications cannot cure BPD, but they can restore chemical balance and help clear the way for a more successful treatment of BPD through psychotherapy.


And the blues begin again.
A sad song, a sad, sad song,
Begins to play at the back of my mind,
That colors everything it touches
With the soft brush of silent despair.

And the storm begins to build,
The feelings billowing into gigantic anvils.
I sit there absorbing the storm’s vibrations,
Hoping to break the dam,
And release its redemptive waters,
But the crying on the outside will not begin,
While the crying on the inside will never stop.

(1) Discouraged Borderline Personality Disorder. Optimum Performance Institute.