Cluster C is a subset of personality disorders that includes avoidant, dependent and obsessive compulsive personality disorders. These disorders are characterized by anxious and fearful thinking and behavior.

The following is fictional example of how an individual with a cluster C personality disorder may require the services of a criminal attorney.

Mary was the beloved only child of parents who were in their forties when she was born. She was protected and indulged throughout her childhood. After graduating from high school she continued to live with her parents and worked as a secretary for her father’s business. She sold the business after her parents died and continued to live in the family home. Mary had a succession of live-in boy friends who took advantage of her financially. She was arrested when police took possession of her personal computer and charged her with downloading and distributing child pornography.

Mary told her attorney that her boyfriend used her computer for long periods of time but she did not want to “get him in trouble.” She refused make any decisions about her case because she was “too stupid.”

Mary has a dependent personality disorder and her need to be cared for is so strong that she will sacrifice herself to please others especially her boyfriend. Individuals with this disorder look to others to guide their lives and can be gullible. Their self- esteem is determined by others. Individuals like Mary avoid conflict and rarely disagree. The attorney can expect that a client with dependent personality will have difficulty making an independent decision and be unable to problem solve.


For our newsletter and blog this month we are reviewing Cluster B & C type Personality Disorders. The blog topics for this month are:

  • Personality Disorders: Defining “Cluster B” (9/4/15)
  • Cluster B: Borderline, Histrionic and Narcissistic (9/11/15)
  • Personality Disorders: Defining “Cluster C” (9/18/15)
  • Cluster C: Avoidant and Obsessive Compulsive  (9/25/15)

Note: To see all posts in this topic, including last month’s Cluster A topics, click here

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