Do You Know Someone Like This?

General symptoms and treatment of avoidant personality disorder.


Avoidant personality disorder is a mental health condition characterized by a person having or exhibiting a lifelong and pathological pattern of feeling very introverted or shy, having feelings of inadequacy, and an astute sensitivity to rejection which coincidentally is also manifest in other disorders like NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) and BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder)

Typical Symptoms

In almost all reported cases, people suffering from APD (avoidant personality disorder) have a rampant preoccupation with their own misgivings and shortcomings. There view of self is skewed and often this symptom when shared with others is misinterpreted as some form of self absorption which isn’t really the case; at least not in a healthy or positive way. Unlike what is seen in those suffering from NPD, the preoccupation is characterized by the feeling that nothing they do is right and therefore the best defense is no offense and in fact to be as non confrontational or interrelational as is possible. The relationships that are allowed to take hold are typically those where the sufferer has established at least in their own mind that rejection isn’t a factor.

Sadly, many times no one can live up to this bar’s level and the sufferer is relegated to a life of loneliness which only exacerbates the disorders foot hold. With those who suffer from APD, it is as if their emotions are like unsheathed nerve endings; impossibly sensitive when exposed to touch and excruciatingly painful. For APD sufferers, the idea of being rejected or losing someone they care about for any reason warrants their thwarting any chance of their heart being involved beyond cursory interaction.

Someone with APD will any day of the week choose loneliness hands down over possible rejection.

I like to call this “The Woolen Glove” theory. We can think of love as ermine or mink fur. Have you ever tried to caress the fur of one of these animals through a thick woolen glove? The silky luxuriant feel is entirely lost. One has to take off the protective glove in order to experience the pleasure of caressing the lush and soft fur. Those with APD shy away from touching the world much less caressing it through a protective barrier; thereby denying themselves.

What causes this disorder?

The cause of APD is unknown although it is thought that significant loss resulting in some manner of breakdown has been instrumental in the disorder when diagnosed in adults., However this Personality disorder is typically a lifelong one diagnosed in children and adults alike, The patterns therefore cannot be categorized as histrionically based behavioral traits.

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  1. I do know of people like this it can be difficult to deal with at times

  2. This is surely a serious condition.

  3. great collection

  4. Thanks for commenting everyone. You are so right Chipmunk it is very difficult to deal with. ESPECIALLY if the person who has this disorder isn’t humble enough to recognize its existence.

  5. It can happen to anyone but it is an unpleasant experience

  6. Good info on a rarely discussed topic.

  7. I think I have personality disorder…
    Anyways very nice article…

  8. Thanks for posting each and everyone of you.

  9. I’d never heard of this disorder until now… but I think I know a few people who it could apply to. A great share!

  10. I also have not heard about it – cant say I know someone who is this extreme

  11. 1% of the population is a very small percentage. Thanks for reading ladies!

  12. Well written article of interest…..did you mean ‘historically’ in that last line?

  13. @real poet:
    Histrionic personality disorder (HPD) is defined by the American Psychiatric Association as a personality disorder characterized by a pattern of excessive emotionality and attention-seeking, including an excessive need for approval and inappropriate seductiveness, usually beginning in early adulthood. These individuals are lively, dramatic, enthusiastic, and flirtatious.

    They may be inappropriately sexually provocative, express strong emotions with an impressionistic style, and be easily influenced by others. Associated features may include egocentrism, self-indulgence, continuous longing for appreciation, and persistent manipulative behavior to achieve their own needs.

  14. Didn’t know about this. Thanx 4 sharing

  15. wow…you make ‘normalicy’ seem so much harder to reach now dontcha.

    By the way J.K. Bradford, I am fine.

    And….some people can never be reached. :)

  16. glad to hear you are okay SpiriTT. Thanks for chiming in young lady.

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