It is a mental illness predominantly marked by an avoidance of interpersonal interactions due to fear of judgment or disapproval, extreme sensitivity to criticism, lack of self-esteem, reclusive behavior and self-criticism.
HOW IT GETS DEVELOPED ?
Scientists believe that it arises through a complex interplay of genetic, biological, social and psychological factors. Certain behavioral traits are hereditary.
How Can I Recognise An Avoidant Personality Disorder?
The following behaviors are typically present in those suffering from avoidant personality disorder:
- Fear of strangers, extreme shyness, and awkwardness in group situations.
- Avoidance of professions or activities that call for interaction with others.
- Restriction of lifestyle in order to avoid uncomfortable situations and interactions.
- Inability to share feelings and remaining distant within relationships. The person may generally find it difficult to form close personal relationships.
- Avoiding attention for fear of embarrassing oneself, inviting ridicule or rejection.
- Hypersensitivity to criticism and the opinions of others.
- Aversion to sharing personal information.
- Considering themselves unappealing and inferior to their peers.
- Preoccupation with one’s own shortcomings.
- Inability to trust others.
- Extreme self-consciousness.
- Always assuming a worst-case scenario or blowing situations out of proportion.
- Avoidance of physical contact.
- Indulging in fantasies as a form of escapism.
Can There Be Any Complications?
- Psychoanalytical/psychodynamic therapy – To help release repressed emotions and experiences.
- Dialectal behavioral therapy – Helps people improve their emotional and cognitive regulations by learning about their triggers. Also, helping them asses which coping mechanism to apply for a particular trigger.
- Cognitive behavioural therapy – Targets personal coping strategies to help solve current problems and changing unhelpful patterns in cognition.
- Group therapy – Here one or more therapists treat a small number of clients as a group.
- Psychoeducation – Explaining the disorder to the individual and the family to help them with treatment and coping.
- Medication – Antidepressants are proved to help the patients with certain symptoms. This form of treatment is used along with therapy to help the patient(s) cope.
PREVENTION – The only known factors which can be controlled to prevent its onset are:
- Emotional stimulation.
- Expressive family environment.