Author Martin Kantor explains a common, painful truth of avoidant personality disorder (APD) in his book titled “Distancing: Avoidant Personality Disorder” by stating,
“Some [people with avoidant personality disorder] are isolated individuals, who, unmindful of the pathological nature of their avoidance, cite, and live by, its presumed advantages, and eventually come to believe that their isolation from family, friends, and potential intimates is a good thing.”
If you struggle with APD, perhaps you can relate to the deep, internal fear of being criticized, judged, or ridiculed; many people with APD feel inadequate or socially inept, causing them to withdraw from others. Personality disorders affect the way a person thinks and behaves, as well as how they connect with themselves and relate to others. People with APD may have difficulty forming and maintaining relationships of any kind because they fear of doing something wrong. APD is said to affect 1.8% to 6.4% of the U.S. population, split fairly equally between men and women. If you have APD, you likely can relate to the following:
- You only feel comfortable attending or participating in any social activity if you know for certain that you are liked
- You withhold from getting too close to others in fear of judgment or ridicule
- You are preoccupied with ideas of being shamed by others
- You often feel reluctant to take any personal risks or engage in new activities because you don’t want to embarrass yourself
- You feel inhibited in socially situations because you feel disadvantaged socially
Some people with APD have close relationships but become hyper-critical as a defense mechanism to protect them from becoming too vulnerable. If you have APD, you may be wondering what forms of treatment are available. A 2016 study conducted by researchers from Italy and Denmark and published in the International Journal of Psychology and Psychoanalysis claim that dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is a great option, because emotion dysregulation can be explored and symptoms of APD may be reduced. Another highly effective form of treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps the client overcome negative, unproductive thought patterns.
If the symptoms of your APD have been negatively affecting your quality of life, seek treatment today. Begin developing the tools you need to overcome your barriers and be on your way towards a happier, healthier life.
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 855-668-9094 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.