It’s estimated that around 30.8 million adults in the United States have a personality disorder, and avoidant personality disorder (APD) is one that centers around a fear of criticism and rejection. For many people with this disorder, social situations can become terrifying due to the potential of embarrassment in front of others; it’s not uncommon for people with APD to feel as though they don’t fit in. If this is something you’ve struggled with, you can probably relate to the incessant “mind reading” that goes along with this disorder. When this happens, we feel so incredibly confident of what others are thinking about us (most often in a negative light)– and in turn, it causes us to act (and react) in ways that only push us further into depths of the disorder itself.
A 2016 article written by authors from Italy associated mindreading with “metacognition” – a term that involves our own personal awareness and understanding of our own thoughts. It’s suggested that for those with APD, metacognition may be impaired because a person is unable to fully grasp how their thought processes are influencing the social anxiety they’re experiencing. In 2018, researchers published a study in the journal Comprehensive Psychiatry that argues that APD is quite similar to social phobia depending on the degree of social anxiety; from their study, however, they found that not only do those with APD tend to have lower metacognitive functioning, but they also tend to experience greater distress in forming relationships with other people.
If you tend to project your feelings onto other people, this can make it incredibly difficult for you to engage with others. Unfortunately, many people seek out substances as a way to resolve the stress associated with being out in public – but while this may work temporarily, it doesn’t truly help a person recover.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.