Posted by Eddie Sylvano on December 12, 2003, at 9:12:25
In reply to Does anyone have Avoidant Personality Disorder?, posted by billym on December 11, 2003, at 13:36:26
> AvPD -- I'm afraid not many people know what this is, nor do many doctors. It's not social anxiety.
I feel you. I was diagnosed with social anxiety, but the descriptions in the DSM didn't really jibe with how I felt. I can talk to people in a professional capacity quite easily, and i don't really get overly anxious around people, I just get very reserved.
For those unfamiliar, avoidant personality disorder is marked by the following:
-avoids occupational activities that involve significant interpersonal contact, because of fears of criticism, disapproval, or rejection
-is unwilling to get involved with people unless certain of being liked
-shows restraint within intimate relationships because of the fear of being shamed or ridiculed
is preoccupied with being criticized or rejected in social situations
-is inhibited in new interpersonal situations because of feelings of inadequacy
views self as socially inept, personally unappealing, or inferior to others
-is unusually reluctant to take personal risks or to engage in any new activities because they may prove embarrassing
basically, you think that you don't fit in, and that other people will dislike you. If you've had enough experience of people actually treating you this way, it sticks. I don't know how many times I've said something in a group of people and been ignored, only to have someone else say the same thing and recieve praise and approval. My dad also did his part to make me feel like the person I am is ridiculous.
Certainly, there's an element of anxiety about it, but it's different. When you're not speaking, there isn't any anxiety. It's almost more of a belief I have than a fear. People just don't get me, I figure. It keeps me from being myself, instead opting for safer, blander expressions. I never say what I think.
Not sure that medications do much for this. On them, I'm not as depressed, but I still don't jump into social situations at all. It probably requires extensive therapy.