Avoidant Personality Disorder
An avoidance personality disorder is a long-lasting pattern of behavior associated with social barriers, feelings of incompetence, and sensitivity to rejection that cause problems in work and relationship situations. Find out more about Avoidant Personality Disorder: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and This is How to Overcome.
In this article, you can find out people with a history of personality disorders, how to deal with them, how to treat and others.
What is Avoidant Personality Disorder?
Avoidant personality disorder (APD) is a long-lasting pattern of behavior associated with social inhibition, feelings of incompetence, and sensitivity to rejection that cause problems in work situations and relationships.
People with disorders show a pattern of avoidance for fear of rejection, which they experience as very painful.
The disorder affects about two percent of the population, with the number of men and women alike suffering.
Is Avoidance-Personality Disorder the Same as Social Anxiety
Researchers and clinicians used to believe that avoidable personality disorder only occurs in conjunction with a social anxiety disorder (SAD). However, more recent research shows that there is a significant percentage of people with AVPD who do not meet the criteria for social anxiety disorder.
Sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish whether a person has a social anxiety disorder or an avoidance personality disorder, or both. Typically, someone with AVPD will experience anxiety and avoidance in all areas of life, whereas someone with social anxiety may only have specific fears for certain situations, such as public speaking or performing.
In addition to social anxiety disorder, people with an avoidable personality disorder may have concomitant conditions including depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorder, or other personality disorders. People with AVPD also have a higher risk of substance abuse and suicidal behaviors.
Sometimes avoidance personality disorder is also confused with schizoid personality disorder, as both conditions involve social isolation. However, people with schizophrenic personality disorder have a common disinterest in interacting with others, whereas people with personality disorders avoid wanting relationships but tend to avoid them for fear of being rejected or criticized.
Symptoms of Avoidant Personality Disorder
Here are some symptoms of avoidant personality disorder:
- Social inhibition
- Feeling incapable
- Hypersensitivity to negative evaluation
- Anxiety at the thought of doing or saying something wrong
- Need to be liked
- Avoid situations for fear of being rejected
- Avoid intercourse or sharing intimate feelings
- Avoid social situations or events
- Avoid interactions in work arrangements or reject promotions
- Avoid conflict (be a “pleasant person”)
- Low confidence level
- Lack of assertiveness
- Extreme self-awareness
- Seeing yourself socially incompetent or inferior
- Lack of trust in others
- Failed to start social contact
- Anhedonia (lack of fun in activities)
- Anxiety in social situations
- Avoid making decisions
- Beware of signs of rejection
- Easily hurt by criticism or disapproval
- No close friends / no social networks
- Do not be afraid to try new things or take chances
- Feeling scared and tense
- Misinterpreted the neutral situation as negative
Causes of Avoidant Personality Disorder
The causes of avoidant personality disorders are thought to involve genetic, environmental, social, and psychological factors.
Emotional abuse, criticism, ridicule, lack of compassion, or parenting by parents can result in the development of this personality disorder if other factors are also present. Rejection by peers can also be a risk factor.
Often, individuals with this disorder are as shy as children and do not overcome this shyness as they age. Social anxiety disorders and avoidance personality disorders have similar symptoms and genetics, with PPE being a more severe form of the condition.