Do People With Avoidant Personality Disorder Just Have Social Anxiety?

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People with avoidant personality disorder (APD) have similar symptoms to those with social anxiety disorder (SAD) but their symptoms are more severe. However, it is said that because both disorders hold many of the same symptoms, they are often diagnosed together. Like SAD, people with APD fear rejection, ridicule, and humiliation by others. There are several key traits of APD:

  • Tending to have a low self-esteem with strong feelings of inadequacy and fear of rejection
  • Extreme self-consciousness in new social settings and the tendency to become very shy or inhibited in fear or criticism
  • Personal image of being inadequate or personally unappealing
  • Restraining from interpersonal relationships
  • Typically tending to avoid trusting others and avoid relationships unless there is certainty of being well-approved

These characteristics often cause challenges in daily functioning such as through work-related activities and other social engagements. Most people with APD exhibit patterns of withdrawal, mainly by avoiding eye contact, not initiating contact, and being hesitant to move forward with conversations. Some individuals also have difficulty enjoying life experiences because of their hesitancy to engage. If you have APD, you likely have experiences some of these challenges that come with the disorder.

There have been no specific causes linked to the development of APD, but researchers believe that genetics and environmental factors may have an impact.

There are many effective treatment methods that have been used to help treat APD, including: cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), social skills training, group therapy, and medication. CBT helps people to change old, negative thought patterns into healthier, more productive ones. Social skills training typically instructs people on societal expectations and rules, assertiveness, conversational skills, and more. Group therapy allows individuals to share their experiences with one another to receive feedback and learn new ways of communicating. Lastly, medication may be used to help a person find balance while they develop skills towards better managing their disorder.

If you have been diagnosed with APD and are experiencing distress daily, make the decision to seek help today.

If you’re seeking treatment for mental illness and/or substance abuse, call us today at 855-545-9124. Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed treatment center with licensed, experienced professionals who care about your recovery. Our dedicated healthcare team will work with you to ensure that you get the help that you need. Make the decision to place your health and happiness as top priority and call us for a consultation.

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