View Full Version : Avoidant Personality Disorder Comorbid with Inattentive ADD?

10-24-11, 05:27 PM
Is it even possible to have Avoidant Personality Disorder combined with Inattentive Attention Deficit Disorder?

Just wondering because I also strike quite a lot with AvPD symptoms as well.

11-02-11, 04:34 PM
Woud it not be asymptom of undiagnosed inattententive ADHD. Rather than both///????

Kirby Albee
11-07-11, 05:20 PM
They said I might have that at the place where they tested me for ADD.

12-16-11, 03:18 AM
Just read about AVP today for the first time, think I was googling "Meltdown when Insulted" :) and noticed one of the hits mentioned Avoidant Personality Disorder.

I have been diagnosed Social Anxiety/Phobia for a decade and a half, but always thought that diagnosis fit in some ways but not in others.

But reading the symptoms for AVP looks to me like a FAR better fit than SA. Well seems some think they are the same disorder, but whatever - I really fit the AVP mould

I am ADHD-PI/SCT - some of my AVP stuff I can directly link to ADHD, esp feeling like a loser because my jobs are crap, when I even have one.

But wow I have trouble with criticism, esp if I think the criticism is misguided. Fairly common because openly critical people often have no ******* clue what they are talking about.

At this Point I am not sure if I can completely link my inability to handle criticism to ADHD -

12-26-11, 08:11 AM
There is an element of self deserting avpd in Add PI I think.

mrs. dobbs
12-27-11, 03:05 AM
^^ omg.

12-27-11, 05:36 AM
Apologies for link. I forgot. I will copy and paste it.

Here it is.
Self-deserting avoidants combine the social (interpersonal)
retreating of the avoidant with the ruminative (cognitive) self-devaluation of the
depressive personality. These individuals immerse themselves in a surrogate fantasy
existence to avoid the discomfort of having to relate to others. They are not, however,
unaware of their use of these tactics (unless, for example, they are concurrently experiencing
a major depressive episode with psychosis), and this makes them painfully aware
of their perceived inadequacies. Fantasy gradually becomes less effective, and their
thoughts center more and more on the misery of their lives and the anguish of past experiences.
Waking dreams are displaced by painful ruminations.
Thus totally interiorized, the feelings that motivated their initial withdrawal reverberate
unremittingly. More and more, they cannot tolerate being themselves and seek
to completely withdraw from their own conscious awareness, an existential abnegation
of selfhood. Some become increasingly neglectful psychologically and physically, even
to the point of neglecting basic hygiene. Some plunge into despair and are driven toward
suicide, abandoning life as a means of ridding themselves of inner anguish and
horror of their own identities. Others regress into a state of emotional numbness in
which they are completely disconnected from themselves. In particularly severe cases,
the structure of consciousness itself may split or fragment, leaving a regressive disorganization
reminiscent of the schizotypal personality. As this process proceeds, selfdeserting
avoidants become outside spectators, observing from without the drama of
their frightening transformation.

Like the avoidant, dependent personalities desire close personal relationships; unlike
the avoidant’s basic sense of mistrust, however, dependents invest their trust (and much
of their sense of self) in a significant other and relentlessly dread the potential loss
of that relationship. Phobic avoidants combine features of these two personalities.
Trapped between desire and the possibility of abandonment, phobic avoidants find a
symbolic substitute onto which to project or displace their fear and anger. A free-floating
and barely tolerable sense of anxiety or dread is thus concretized and shifted away
from its true object: It’s not the boyfriend or girlfriend, but the dog next door that is to
be feared. By fleeing the phobic object or situation, such individuals seek to free themselves
by symbolically leaving fear behind. Such phobias express the avoidant’s fear of
personal rejection, humiliation, and shame. For many phobic avoidants, the expression
of fear in the presence of the phobic object also represents a cry for compassion, a desire
to make instrumental use of fear as a means of disarming rejection and abandonment
threats by eliciting support from otherwise unsupportive persons. Thus, phobic
avoidants may successfully distance themselves from anxiety-producing situations,
while also soliciting a degree of tolerance from others: You can’t really hate her for not
wanting to take the job at the dam; she has a fear of drowning. Unfortunately, such attempts
often backfire, for the phobia itself may elicit mockery.

In contrast with the conflicted pattern, the hypersensitive avoidant incorporates features
of the paranoid personality, but exhibits greater reality contact. Whereas persons
with paranoid personality disorder are generally autonomous to a fault and cannot acknowledge
any personal vulnerabilities, even to themselves, hypersensitive avoidants
are well aware of their own shortcomings but will attribute them as much to the maneuverings
of others as to themselves. Both are high-strung and prickly, vigilant to signs of
rejection and abuse, and excessively wary of the motives of others. Moreover, their pervasive
apprehensiveness is often accompanied by intense and labile moods that feature
prolonged periods of edginess and self-deprecation. Hypersensitive avoidants strongly
expect that others will be rejecting and disparaging but alternate between the profound
gloom that often accompanies the basic avoidant pattern and the irrational projection of
the paranoid. Either way, their usual strategy is a protective withdrawal that maintains a
safe distance from all emotional involvement. Retreating defensively, some become
more and more remote from others and from needed sources of support. Those who are
more avoidant may express guilt and contrition, while feeling misunderstood, unappreciated,
and demeaned by others. Those with a greater abundance of paranoid traits,
however, find it difficult to contain their anger toward anyone who has been unsupportive,
critical, or disapproving.
As the self-esteem of the hypersensitive avoidant approaches collapse, many take on
more severe paranoid features and come to believe that their “pathetic self ” is the product
of covert actions by others to undermine them or make them inhibit themselves.
Those with preexisting paranoid traits may find it easier to believe that others are the
cause of their inadequacy, an external attribution, than to believe that they are naturally
inadequate, an internal attribution. The former shifts the blame and perhaps allows a
remedy; the latter leads only to resignation. Avoidants who have paranoid traits, therefore,
may find that these traits intensify as conditions become more stressful.

A defining feature of avoidant personality disorder is the conflict of longing for intimacy
versus the fear of vulnerability that naturally ensues in a close relationship with another.
In a similar manner, those with a negativistic personality (formerly referred to as
“passive-aggressive”) are basically ambivalent about themselves and others. They idealize
their close friends and companions, but should their sense of autonomy be threatened,
they seek to undermine or humiliate them. What we are terming the conflicted
avoidant is an avoidant pattern that combines features of the negativistic personality.
Here, we may expect to see basic withdrawal tendencies of the avoidant pattern but expressed
in a manner akin to the negativist’s penchant for “interpersonal guerilla warfare.”
If not withdrawn into isolation, conflicted avoidants may be experienced as petulant
and sulking. They may attack others for failing to recognize their needs for affection,
but accuse those who offer nurturance of seeking to compromise their independence.
Disposed to anticipate disappointments and fearful of facing others openly, they may
strike out indirectly by obstructing their actions and misrepresenting their wishes. They
often report feeling misunderstood, unappreciated, and demeaned, and their mood is
generally much more erratic than in the basic avoidant pattern. During periods when
stresses are minimal, they may deny past resentments and portray an image of general
contentment. Under slight pressures, however, their pacific surface quickly gives way to
impulsive hostility. Unable to orient emotions and thoughts logically, they may at times
become lost in personal irrelevancies and autistic asides, further alienating them from
others. Relating to such individuals, undoubtedly, is an arduous process, requiring far
more patience than most people are likely to offer. This interpersonal strategy, as you
can see, fulfills the avoidant’s circular struggle; it vilifies others and

mrs. dobbs
12-27-11, 05:52 AM
I meant, omg ^^ uncanny. self-deserting. brilliant description. i've never seen that before. it makes so much sense. thank you, shamrock.

12-28-11, 11:29 AM
I hadn't previously heard of hypersensitive avoidant. This definitely sound like me. When I was young I was very sensitive and would even cry publicly after being made fun of by others. As a teenager I think I started avoiding emotion completely. Recently I have thought about my adult life and how I tend to be a loner and move from place to place without a lot of long-term relationships. Most of the time I feel like I am faking emotion now to fit in but don't actually feel much of anything. When others are emotional around me I create distance.

The collapse and severe paranoia is something I have also experienced. Since meeting my wife my life has become significantly more stable and the severe lows and paranoia don't seem to be issues for me anymore. Being emotionally disconnected from my wife is something that really bothers me since I am well aware of the role she plays in my life.

It is nice to know there is a name for this and I can start doing research. Thanks for posting.

12-28-11, 11:50 PM
My treatment has only recently turned in the ADHD (presumably innattentive) direction after failing to respond to SSRIs for anxiety & depression, and I was already aware of AvPD before this, and thought I might have it. Were you diagnosed as an adult, per chance? Growing up with undiagnosed ADHD sounds like a virtual guarantee of developing a personality disorder.

12-29-11, 03:57 PM
I was diagnosed this summer at 32.

01-03-12, 03:59 AM
I was diagnosed with it yesterday after some long therapy. ADHD-C though, not just inattentive. And narcissist traits.

01-09-12, 03:32 PM
hypervigilant/covert narcissm can include some traits that are similar to a hypersensitive avoidant(and a lot that arent obviously)

01-14-12, 05:30 AM
Which ones ?

Actually, APD can very often look like a seperate disorder - yet very likely be a coping system resulting from slow developing social skills. Accepting a default and putting priority on potential talents is just being smart. My therapist agrees with this theory.

I'm unfamiliar with the terms you just provided - can you give me their definitions ?

01-15-12, 09:37 PM
I am not allowed to post a link to another forum but google" avpd and narcissism "and a lot of stuff will come up.

Note-As far as I know this is only with covert/shy/hypervigilant narcissism and not classical narcissm. In general avpd and narcissism are HUGELY different conditions but the hypervigilant narcissists do suffer from avoidant traits and sometimes paranoid traits like you see in hypersensitive avoidants.

Here is a chart outlining some differences between classical /overt and hypervigilant/covert narcissism but you would have to google avpd and narcissism to read about the avoidant pd overlap symptoms.

01-16-12, 03:26 AM
Man - this gets too complicated. I'm just going to remain myself. If ever I would have one of such disorders - they might be diagnosed. Besides, I must be careful with reading, I tend to believe I have everything I read.

But thnx =)

01-17-12, 08:20 AM
I'm just going to remain myself. If ever I would have one of such disorders - they might be diagnosed.


09-01-12, 07:14 PM
I took the big five factor test on the internet not very long ago
and it said I scored high on avoidant and somewhat high on dependent.
The rest of the others where not so high.
I wonder if it meens I have avoidant personality disorder.

09-04-12, 01:19 AM
Say, huh, why did you write my old forum name ? That's like a year old.