Personality disorders can affect all aspects of daily living – from work obligations, to family concerns, and social functions, personality disorders can make anyone feel isolated and misunderstood. According to Psychology Today, avoidant personality disorder is characterized by feelings of inadequacy, extreme social inhibition, and sensitivity to rejection.
What is APD?
Those who have avoidant personality disorder may fear connection with others due to their base fear of rejection or disappointment. There are many struggles that those with avoidant personality disorder face:
- They have difficulty trusting or expressing their deep feelings of fear of abandonment, rejection, or loss.
- When they do begin to connect, they may quickly pull away in fear of getting “too close”.
- With our society’s emphasis on “individuality” and “autonomy”, many people with this disorder take this perspective and use it to rationalize isolation and seclusion.
- Any form of criticism is very painful for them to experience.
- The feeling of having to rely on others may be viewed as humiliating for someone with avoidant personality disorder.
- They often obsess about rejection, loss, or ridicule – this obsession is a negative cycle and prevents them from engaging with others and making close connections.
- They avoid making eye contact or saying anything to others, primarily because they don’t want to humiliate themselves or be shunned by coworkers or friends.
- They may have a very low self-esteem, and their words and actions reflect this.
Symptoms & How To Offer Support
While these are only a few of the struggles that people with avoidant personality disorder face, they can be difficult to go through. Psych Central suggests the following for being the most supportive to those who have avoidant personality disorder:
- Do not force them to confront any emotional or physical challenges, as this could increase their feelings of shame.
- Stand up for yourself. Although avoidant personality disorder can cause your loved one to withdraw, standing up for yourself is still important.
- Get out of the relationship if you must. If the relationship is becoming too toxic and your loved one is not willing to seek treatment, leaving may be necessary to protect yourself.
- Approach them with grace. Being cool, calm, and collected in necessary to maintain a peaceful atmosphere.
- Be mindful of their frame of reference. Keep in mind what they are going through and how they are likely feeling. This will help you understand why they are saying or doing certain things.
How To Cope
If you or a loved one has avoidant personality disorder and wants to develop tools to effectively cope with the symptoms of this, call New Vista Behavioral Health today. We have several locations that provide both addiction and mental health recovery – our licensed staff cares about your success.
Call us today at 844-406-1239 to begin your journey towards recovery.