View Full Version : Avoidant personality may just be a subtype of social anxiety

01-19-07, 11:58 PM
I went to a workshop recently to learn how to treat social anxiety with cognitive behavioural therapy (I'm a psychologist) and the Prof. who was taking the course classified avoidant personality as a subtype of social anxiety. He said that in his research evaluating treatment for social anxiety, avoidant personality also responded. That is, people who had both and were successfully treated for social anxiety no longer had avoidant personality. Hardly sounds like a personality disorder which would imply trait behaviour and permenancy if it responds to treatment, lol.

01-23-07, 10:41 PM
Avoidance is also a Huge Hallmark of PTSD/DES-NOS, and ofcourse the rest of the Anxiety Disorders, too. Avoidance reduces Anxiety. (At least in the short-term.) The pathology that accompanies extreme attempts at avoidance of anxiety, can look like an Axis II disorder, can't it.

Most phobias/anxiety get started by some sort of traumatic event. (The definition of 'trauma' being used these days, by folks like Peter Levine ("Waking the Tiger") is: an experience that the organism is not equipped to handle. I'd say most ADHD/LDers have trauma histories via their humiliating school experiences alone...!!)

I'd be very very careful about assigning anyone Axis II pathology (a P.D. label) to anyone, BTW. Certain PD labels are also gender-based. For example: when we encounter anger issues in women we say 'oh, must be borderline', whereas in males we say "he has anger control problems." <G>

Diagnosis is a complex business: I have seen three clinicians label the same patient in diverse ways. For example, take an angry, impulsive, moody female whose emotionally labile in a 24 hour period: one Doc says Borderline PD, the second Doc says Rapid Cycling Bipolar and the third Doc says Schizo-Affective.

Diagnostic pigeon-holing seems like a load of hooey, assessment-wise, after a while...

01-23-07, 10:52 PM
Personality disorder diagnosises needed to be dropped from the DSM. I think they were made up by psychologist who love... to label people.

01-28-07, 03:40 AM
I think labelling with personality disorders is more common among psychiatrists bc their understanding of human behaviour isn't as good because their education is mainly medical. Mind you, I had a friend last year who had been diagnosed with Borderline and Narcissism and after knowing her I have more faith in those diagnoses. I also think psychopathy exists though I think 'antisocial personality' is hullabulloo because nearly every drug user would qualify due to criminal history, though a lot get into heavy drug use due to psychological and abuse issues and are not callous people.

01-28-07, 03:30 PM
I personally, totally agree with you, NZ.

01-28-07, 03:36 PM
I am not waivering from my opinion, that no two 'humans' are identical, in personality.
I don't care who 'dictates' this as 'truth'.

02-06-07, 02:12 PM
Interesting theory geckogirl. That sounds like it could be true. It makes since...

02-06-07, 02:13 PM
Only thing is how do we test this theory since you can't make it completely scientific...?

08-06-07, 03:35 AM
Personality disorder diagnosises needed to be dropped from the DSM. I think they were made up by psychologist who love... to label people.
i agree.