Looking in Your Mirror of Thoughts and Behavior
A persistent and nagging disinclination to engage in social settings might lead one to ask: “Do I have avoidant personality disorder?” If, by the end of this discussion, you believe this to be the case, don’t worry because you aren’t alone and there is plenty of help available. But for the purposes of this article, we only want to provide a quick and concise checklist to help you make a determination. Helpful links to treatment options along with any medications that will help to cope with it are provided at the end. So let’s get right to it.
At the heart of the signs and symptoms of avoidant personality disorder is an extremely high and abnormal level of shyness. But not just shyness in the sense of the trepidation one might feel at the prospect of wanting to cross the room at the Eighth Grade dance to ask the object of your affection to join you on the dance floor. This disorder causes a palpable, uncomfortable fear of just the thought of a social setting, let alone the engagement itself. So it is important to carefully review your life history to determine whether the degree of shyness you experience is intense enough to warrant this diagnosis. Right off the bat, we’ll tell you that there will be some pretty obvious negative consequences (listed below) in people with untreated avoidant personality disorder (AvPD).
Checklist of Thoughts, Behaviors, and the Consequences Resulting from AvPD
- A long and uncomfortable history of shyness.
- A fear of rejection so strong that it may prevent you from even trying something that you think you might fail at.
- Intense feelings of inadequacy and an inferiority complex are consistent traits to look for when learning how to recognize avoidant personality disorder .
- Avoiding school and if that’s not possible, avoiding any extracurricular activities or informal gatherings of friends.
- Avoiding work and responsibilities.
- Steering clear of relationships because the fear of being hurt is too strong.
- Trust issues relating to that same fear of being hurt, disapproved of, or evaluated.
- Unable or reluctant to engage in new activities because of feelings of inadequacy and the fear of possible embarrassment. The proper avoidant personality disorder therapy will help a person work through this.
- Exaggerated sensitivity to criticism and negative evaluations, or even just the perception of them possibly taking place.
- Showing restraint and reluctance in becoming more intimate or emotionally available when in a relationship.
- Negative self-talk and self-assessment that leads the person to conclude they are physically and socially unattractive.
- The perception that social settings are overbearing and too full of stimuli - too many things going on at once.
- Sometimes, this disorder might not be the only mental affliction the person is suffering from, as you’ll learn in avoidant personality disorder vs. schizoid.
- Typically, a person with AvPD will experience failed relationships, marriages, trouble with their careers, and in some cases find themselves on the slippery slopes of substance abuse.
- The result of all these fears and avoidant behavior leads a person toward increased isolation to the point of being a recluse in some cases.
If you’re still wondering do I have avoidant personality disorder or perhaps some other kind of disorder, you might want to take the quiz on the 4degreez.com link below. But as we already mentioned, seeking professional help is highly recommended and finding the right treatment for avoidant personality disorder with the help of your doctor is highly recommended.