An avoidant personality disorder is a cluster of symptoms classified as a mental health diagnosis. Simply put, these conditions are characterized by pervasive patterns of conduct at odds with social standards and lead to distress for the sufferer or those close to them. A person with an avoidant personality disorder has characteristics with those who suffer from anxiety and panic.
Those with avoidant personality disorder are very vulnerable to the criticism of others and suffer from persistent feelings of inadequacy. They have a solid and intense sense of being rejected by others, even when they might benefit from the social connection.
Causes of Avoidant Personality Disorder
There is a lack of consensus about the reasons behind avoidant personality disorder. However, it is thought that genetics and the environment have a role in the development of the disease. It is thought that avoidant personality disorder may be genetic and may be handed down through generations; however, this has not been shown.
There is some truth to the idea that environmental variables, especially throughout development, have a significant effect. People with avoidant personality disorders continue to struggle with shyness far into their adolescence and adult years, even though this trait is often associated with younger children. People who have this disease often report having had negative experiences in the past with their parents or peers, which may affect a person’s sense of self-esteem and feeling of worth.
Symptoms of Avoidant Personality Disorder
Those who suffer from this condition have such a strong aversion to social interaction that they prefer to stay alone rather than risk being rejected. Behavior in patients with this disease may range from moderate to severe.
People with this disease often exhibit the following behaviors in addition to their extreme sensitivity to social criticism and rejection:
- They are easily upset by rejection or criticism because of their hypersensitivity.
- They are hesitant to get close to others and are often unsociable until they know they will be accepted.
- They avoid situations or careers that require interaction with other people because they are overwhelmed by anxiety (nervousness) and dread in such contexts.
- They have difficulty putting themselves out there because they are embarrassed by making mistakes or seeming foolish in front of others.
- They tend to overstate the severity of issues.
- They seldom do anything novel or risky.
- They think poorly of themselves and feel inferior to others.
Complications of avoidant personality disorder?
Without therapy, a person with this illness runs the risk of being socially isolated, which may harm their ability to maintain employment and relationships over the long term. They also have a higher likelihood of suffering from depression and abusing substances. A person with avoidant personality disorder could be reluctant to speak out in social circumstances out of worry that they will make a social faux pas, flush, stutter, or otherwise disgrace themselves in some other way.
You could also find that you spend a lot of time carefully observing the people around you for clues as to whether they approve of you or disapprove of you.
Diagnosis of Avoidant Personality Disorder
If symptoms are present, a medical professional will start an assessment by conducting a comprehensive medical history and physical examination. If symptoms are present, an evaluation will continue. Even though there are no laboratory tests that can precisely identify personality disorders, a doctor may employ a variety of diagnostic procedures to rule out the possibility that a medical ailment causes the symptoms.
Suppose the healthcare provider investigates the patient’s condition and determines that there is no physical cause for the symptoms. In that case, they may suggest that the patient see a psychiatrist, psychologist, or another healthcare professional who has received specialized training to diagnose and treat mental illnesses. To diagnose a person with an avoidant personality disorder, psychiatrists and psychologists utilize interviews and other evaluation instruments explicitly developed.
Treating an Avoidant Personality Disorder
Treating personality disorders is challenging because those who suffer from them tend to have rigid, long-standing patterns of thought and conduct. People with avoidant personality disorder are often ideal treatment candidates since they experience severe discomfort due to their disease and have a strong desire to form connections. People with an avoidant personality disorder may find this hope encouraging as they go through their treatment programs.
Psychotherapy is the primary treatment for avoidant personality disorders, just like other types of personality disorders. Psychotherapy is a kind of individual counseling that focuses on altering a person’s thought patterns and behaviors to bring about desired outcomes.
The emphasis of therapy will probably be on conquering anxieties, altering cognitive processes and actions, and assisting the individual in becoming more comfortable in social settings. Medication, such as an antidepressant or anti-anxiety medicine, may be prescribed to those suffering from this illness to assist in managing the anxiety they experience.