View Full Version : Avoidant Personality Disorder


AZ_Eric
11-21-06, 12:26 AM
Anyone have or ever heard of this Disorder? It sounds alot like me.

This disorder is characterized by a long-standing and complex pattern of feelings of inadequacy, extreme sensitivity to what other people think about them, and social inhibition. It typically manifests itself by early adulthood and includes a majority of the following symptoms:



avoids occupational activities that involve significant interpersonal contact, because of fears of criticism, disapproval, or rejection
is unwilling to get involved with people unless certain of being liked
shows restraint within intimate relationships because of the fear of being shamed or ridiculed
is preoccupied with being criticized or rejected in social situations
is inhibited in new interpersonal situations because of feelings of inadequacy
views self as socially inept, personally unappealing, or inferior to others
is unusually reluctant to take personal risks or to engage in any new activities because they may prove embarrassing

QueensU_girl
11-21-06, 01:28 AM
Have you been around critical people in your life/friends/family/school?

Matt S.
11-21-06, 02:00 PM
I get that when I take dexedrine at first (excessive discretion) w/o dexedrine I am argumentative and barge into conversations and am rude and say hurtful things w/o thinking about it etc

QueensU_girl
11-21-06, 08:32 PM
Avoidance is a PTSD feature, too. (Along with Hypervigilance and Intrusive Thoughts/Emotions.)

It is also easily confused with Social Phobia, as well as other disorders or symptoms.

Labelling yourself with a Personality Disorder is pretty serious business (and can have big implications in the quality of care you receive), so I'd suggest you explore any such 'labels' with a professional.

I know a woman who had to have her hospital medical records "sealed" b/c her health problem kept being attributed to her having a PD. Sad.

buffalopc7
11-21-06, 08:46 PM
Yes, heard of it, but as Queens said, it could be something other than Avoidant Personality Disorder. The main distinguishing feature of any personality disorder is rooted in the word "personality". These disorders are innate characteristics, ingrained in the individual's personality. They are considered extraordinarily difficult to treat, mainly because they are so pervasive, but also because individuals with a personality disorder generally won't seek help. These individuals seldom recognize that the characteristics of the disorder are a problem, and often consider them more of an identity.
That said, those criterion could also describe an individual who is manifesting the characteristics of someone who has an attachment disorder, phobia, anxiety, depression, or even shyness. Working with a professional to more accurately discern the source of any problems may help you form a better understanding and receive appropriate intervention, if you are seeking it.


Anyone have or ever heard of this Disorder? It sounds alot like me.

This disorder is characterized by a long-standing and complex pattern of feelings of inadequacy, extreme sensitivity to what other people think about them, and social inhibition. It typically manifests itself by early adulthood and includes a majority of the following symptoms:


avoids occupational activities that involve significant interpersonal contact, because of fears of criticism, disapproval, or rejection
is unwilling to get involved with people unless certain of being liked
shows restraint within intimate relationships because of the fear of being shamed or ridiculed
is preoccupied with being criticized or rejected in social situations
is inhibited in new interpersonal situations because of feelings of inadequacy
views self as socially inept, personally unappealing, or inferior to others
is unusually reluctant to take personal risks or to engage in any new activities because they may prove embarrassing

Matt S.
11-22-06, 11:27 AM
I have severe PTSD so yes I dont dx myself and I get the symptoms during the initial hyper to calm phase of dexedrine tx.

*~ žEEK ~*
11-23-06, 12:04 AM
Boy, I can sure see how an ADDer might think that they have that "Avoidant Personality Disorder"! LOL :D

However, I'm still holding out for the "low self-esteem disorder"! When they finally come out with that one let me know!! :D

QueensU_girl
11-23-06, 01:00 AM
re: Buffalo

Exactly. Very good points. I think observing Avoidant Traits is VERY very important, but Avoidant PD is something different, DSM-wise.

N.B. I think that some (many?) of the DSM labels that are constructed are bullcrud, too.

For example, people might have very good reasons to be 'Avoidant' (like shyness; anxiety disorder; feeling deep shame; PTSD; being teased/bullied for differences; etc etc)

I have found that DSM labels often do not go far enough in terms of explaining the reasonable reasons why someone might they way they are.

Too often we ask "what's wrong with them? why are they *crazy*?" [eg blaming victim for their illness], instead of "in the past, some unknown circumstances might have happened in this person's early life that they cannot articulate or recall, yet the painful emotions and behaviors are there and problematic for them. Something we will never know might explain this AND [--> most importantly] How can we help at this point?"

In my own education, and training -- as well as in my own therapies --- I have seen Trauma Clients (or others featuring the PTSD-like Triad of hypervigilance/avoidance/intrusive emotions & thoughts -- being labelled ONLY by their Symptoms -- "somatoform", "borderline", "anxiety disorder", "depression", "PTSD", "dissociative disorder", "eating disorder", "substance abuser", "self-harming", and so forth.

It really bothers me that TPTB (the powers that be) cannot see the forest (causation) for the trees (only see the dominant symptom.

I guess what makes me skeptical, is that the DSM committees (yes, people sitting around making up the "labels"), do not consider the "whole person", or their Developmental history or the environments/events they were exposed to during sensitive early life periods.

Sometimes there is a medical reason for a symptom, too. For example, i recently read an article that up to 1/3 of people with crippling migraines may actually have a heart defect (repairable) that may be causing their attacks of pain.

I also beleive in 'acquired ADHD'. I think the DSM requirement about it presenting BEFORE age six (6) is ridiculous.

People can have a high fever, or head injury, or stroke, extreme stress in childhood, or other incidents that can cause an ADHD-like syndrome. Having seen it manifested, makes me believe it.

These people should have access to Assessment and a Medication Trial like the rest of us...
Anyway, that's my rant for tonight about diagnostic categories. :)

AZ_Eric
11-24-06, 04:57 AM
Well I am an Inattenive with dyshthymia so I am sure that is what is causing my social problems. Its not like I am afraid of social situations I am just really bad with them.

nzkiwi
11-27-06, 02:49 AM
I wouldn't focus to much on diagnosis, rather what can be done to improve the symptoms. I think avoidant personality disorder is just a form of GAD. I think psychologists like the personality disorder diagnosis, probably because it sounds more character than biological. Psychologists probably think years of therapy would help rather than a more biological approach (medicine), of course therapy would help some. I think labeling someone with something, especially a personality disorder is pointless and probably creates more problems and stress than it fixes. I personally would not want to be labelled as having a personality disorder, as it sounds like a disorder resistant to treatment. Diagnosis and treatment should give hope to the patient rather than dispare.

that's my two cents. :D

QueensU_girl
11-27-06, 04:01 AM
re 10

"Character", laugh. How true.

More and more evidence is coming out about borderline PD being biologically-based. There are brain differences and brain functioning differences. It seems to be developmental, and a form of attachment disorder.

To create a division of "brain based" (cannot help it) and "behavioural" (can help it; wants to be a Pain in the *****) is a false dichotomy.

People with BPD have limbic system dysfunction in their brains, among other problems. It is a disorder of brain regulation in the emotional areas of the brain.

(How ironic to be talking about this in an ADHD group, as many people consider ADHD to be "behavioural", and should we all just "try harder", blah. Rather, it is also a brain based disorder, of the frontal lobe.)

Mental Health people like to blame patients, b/c we don't know how to help them; or cannot be bothered to learn "what made this person develop like this". It is easier to "blame the patient/victim", than it is to accept that traditional methods of 'treatment' don't work.

People i have had on my caseload as a student were in great distress; they certainly didn't "want" to be the way they are. That is why treatments such as DBT are so beautiful. One of the premises is that "people are doing the best they know how, so far along in life...", but still not coping yet... due to Skill Training deficits and Self-Regulation skill deficits, such as the lack of self-soothing behaviour knowledge.

*bows to Marsha Linehan and DBT practitioners everywhere*