A pervasive and excessive need to be taken care of that leads to submissive and clinging behavior and fears of separation, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
- Has difficulty making everyday decisions without an excessive amount of advice and reassurance from others.
- Needs others to assume responsibility for most major areas of his or her life.
- Has difficulty expressing disagreement with others because of fear of loss of support or approval. (Note: Do not include realistic fears of retribution.)
- Has difficulty initiating projects or doing things on his or her own (because of a lack of self-confidence in judgment or abilities rather than a lack of motivation or energy).
- Goes to excessive lengths to obtain nurturance and support from others, to the point of volunteering to do things that are unpleasant.
- Feels uncomfortable or helpless when alone because of exaggerated fears of being unable to care for him or her.
- Urgently seeks another relationship as a source of care and support when a close relationship ends.
- Is unrealistically preoccupied with fears of being left to take care of him or her.