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Your healthcare provider does a physical exam to understand if another condition could be causing symptoms. A mental health provider makes the DPD diagnosis.

A mental health provider will talk with you about your past mental health history. Questions may include how you feel, any other mental health concerns and any substance use problems. The provider compares your answers to factors listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

For a diagnosis of DPD, a provider will look for five of the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria. These factors include:

  • All-consuming, unrealistic fear of being abandoned.
  • Anxious or helpless feelings when alone.
  • Inability to manage life responsibilities without seeking help from others.
  • Problems stating an opinion out of fear of loss of support or approval.
  • Strong drive to get support from others, even choosing to do unenjoyable things to get it.
  • Trouble making everyday decisions without input or reassurance from others.
  • Trouble starting or completing projects because of a lack of self-confidence or ability to make decisions.
  • Urge to seek a new relationship to provide support and approval when a close relationship ends.

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