Thursday, 16 August 2012

Avoidant Personality Disorder

Avoidant Personality Disorder


Avoidant personality disorder (or anxious personality disorder) is a personality disorder recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders handbook in a person characterized by a pervasive pattern of social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy, extreme sensitivity to negative evaluation, and avoidance of social interaction.
People with avoidant personality disorder often consider themselves to be socially inept or personally unappealing and avoid social interaction for fear of being ridiculed, humiliated, rejected, or disliked. Avoidant personality disorder is usually first noticed in early adulthood. Childhood emotional neglect and peer group rejection (e.g. bullying) are both associated with an increased risk for the development of AvPD.
There is controversy as to whether avoidant personality disorder is a distinct disorder from generalized social phobia and it is contended by some that they are merely different conceptualisations of the same disorder, where avoidant personality disorder may represent the more severe form. This is argued because generalized social phobia and avoidant personality disorder have similar diagnostic criteria and may share a similar causation, subjective experience, course, treatment, and identical underlying personality features, such as shyness

Signs and symptoms

People with avoidant personality disorder are preoccupied with their own shortcomings and form relationships with others only if they believe they will not be rejected. Loss and rejection are so painful that these individuals will choose to be lonely rather than risk trying to connect with others.
Hypersensitivity to rejection/criticism
Self-imposed social isolation
Extreme shyness or anxiety in social situations, though the person feels a strong desire for close relationships
Avoids physical contact because it has been associated with an unpleasant or painful stimulus
Feelings of inadequacy
Severe low self-esteem
Self-loathing
Mistrust of others
Emotional distancing related to intimacy
Highly self-conscious
Self-critical about their problems relating to others
Problems in occupational functioning
Lonely self-perception, although others may find the relationship with them meaningful
Feeling inferior to others
In some more extreme cases — agoraphobia
Utilizes fantasy as a form of escapism and to interrupt painful thoughts

1 comment: