Avoidant Personality Disorder Overview

Avoidant personality disorder is one of a group of conditions called anxious personality disorders, which are marked by feelings of nervousness and fear. People with avoidant personality disorder have poor self-esteem. They also have an intense fear of rejection and being negatively judged by others. These feelings make them very uncomfortable in social situations, leading them to avoid group activities and contact with others. For people with this disorder, the fear of rejection is so strong that they choose isolation rather than risk being rejected in a relationship. The pattern of behavior in people with this disorder can vary from mild to extreme. The treatment for this disorder includes psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy. Through this kind of talk therapy and behavioral counseling, patients can learn to manage their anxieties about social rejection.

Signs and Symptoms

  1. They are oversensitive and easily hurt by criticism or disapproval.
  2. They have few, if any, close friends and are reluctant to become involved with others unless certain of being liked.
  3. They experience extreme anxiety and fear in social settings and in relationships, leading them to avoid activities or jobs that involve being with others.
  4. They tend to be shy, awkward, and self-conscious in social situations due to a fear of doing something wrong or being embarrassed.
  5. They tend to exaggerate potential problems.
  6. They seldom try anything new or take chances.
  7. They have a poor self-image, seeing themselves as inadequate and unappealing.

Stigma of Avoidant Personality Disorder

There are many stigmas the surround this disorder, but when generally speaking there are 4 main misconeptions and stigmas. People think that people with AVD are just shy, while that is not true at all. Avoidant Personality Disorder is a mental condition which goes far beyond being shy. People also think that introversion is the same thing as the disorder, while that is far from the truth, as introversion is perfectly normal, while AVD is serious illness. People also, believe that people who have AVD, dislike others. This is very incorrect, people often with avoidant personality disorder disire to have relationships, but cannot due to their fear of rejection. Another thing people think, is that anti-social and AVPD are the the same thing. People with anti-social personality disorder behave different than the norm, while people with AVPD are afriad of relationships.