Masochistic Personality Disorder And Codependency.

Dr Nicholas Jenner

Masochistic Personality Disorder was removed from the latest version of the DSM. Some eminent scholars, notably Theodore Millon, regard its removal as a mistake and lobby for its reinstatement in future editions. Whether or not it it is documented in the manual or not, there is ample evidence that it exists in some form and causes misery for anyone who suffers from it. I have seen evidence of this in my practice where clients almost revel in the idea of self-defeating behaviour, prepare for it, expect it and are never surprised when it happens.

The essential characteristic of Masochistic Personality Disorder (often called Self-Defeating Personality Disorder) is a pathological pattern of self-defeating behaviour. People with this disorder:

  • Cater to other people’s needs.They try to satisfy others without waiting for them to ask for help.
  • Aren’t competitive or ambitious.
  • Go out of their way to be at the service of others.

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