Hi .I am a 17 year old girl living in hong kong. I felt extremely stressful last year so i visited a psychologist(the kind of doctor who give medicine to those who suffer from mental illnesses )i was diagnosed with adjustment disorder. i am on medication and recently i felt better (eg i have less headache) but i suspect myself of having “dependence personality disorder”. I am so helpless that i think i can never get rid of these feelings. I searched in wikipedia about these this disorder it mentions dependent personality disorder is inter-related with adjustment disorder.i found that i feel trouble in decision making , i always allow other people to decide/choices for me ,like letting my mom to decide which school and college for me to go , which subject for me to study.starting from primary school i always lean on one friend(i cannot stand without friend), i will feel anxious and helpless when i was alone. i cant say no or have courage to be alone because i need to lean on others. i dont know what to do with my life now. i cant make any important decisions in my life …beside, i still live with my mom, she likes to decide and define my life for me ,i cannot get rid of her too, i am kind of lean on the decisions she made for me.
You received the diagnosis of “adjustment disorder” but it is your opinion that you have dependent personality disorder. If your psychologist thought that you had dependent personality disorder, then they would’ve diagnosed you as such. Remember, they are trained to diagnose mental health disorders. If they did not think it, then neither should you.
It’s inherently risky to diagnose yourself. Most professionals recommend against it. That’s because mental health professionals receive many years of training about how to carefully diagnose psychological problems. While it is not an exact science, mental health diagnosis requires rigorous training and study.
It sounds as though you’re being very hard on yourself. You’re only 17 years old. By definition, you’re not yet an adult. As you grow older, become more educated and wiser, you will then likely become a more independent decision-maker.
Some theorists believe that the period of adolescence should be expanded until the age of 24. Studies have shown that teenagers take longer to reach their major independence milestones when compared to the youth of 20 years ago. Neurobiological research also suggests that the teenage brain isn’t finished developing until about 25 years old. Developmentally, it makes sense that you would rely on your parents to assist you in your decision-making. Most people your age also lean on their parents and close friends for guidance. It’s too soon for you to expect full independence.
If you have the opportunity to return to your psychologist, you should do so. They will help you to have a smoother transition into adulthood. Ultimately, it everyone’s goal to become an emotionally stable and functioning adult. Counseling can provide the necessary guidance needed to reach your goals. If you’re making progress and working on developing your independence, then you’re on the right track. Good luck and please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle