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Question
Posted by: Lisa | 2009/10/29

Avoidant personality disorder

Hi Doc for a long time, some 8 yrs, I have been trying to work out what is wrong with me. Last year when I got nearly suicidal I forced myself to go to counselling but after three sessions stopped going because I thought the counsellor surely thought poorly of me, what with all the things about myself I was telling her. I coudn' t imagine how she would not see me in a terrible light and stopped going cos I literally felt too ashamed to see her again. That was last year and this year I have again been trying to figure out what is wrong with me. I then just today came across an article on AvPD and a light seemed to go on, esp as I had to answer yes to everything on their symptom list. Sorry to list them all but I just want you to see -

Hypersensitivity to criticism or rejection
Self-imposed social isolation
Extreme shyness in social situations, though feels a strong desire for close relationships
Avoids physical contact
Avoids interpersonal relationships
Feelings of inadequacy
Severe low self-esteem
Self loathing
Mistrust of others
Emotional distancing related to intimacy
Highly self-conscious
Self-critical about their problems relating to others
Problems in occupational functioning
Lonely self-perception
Feeling inferior to others
Utilizes fantasy as a form of escapism and to interrupt painful thoughts

How is it I can I identify with every single symptom!? I am now worried. What sort of therapist should I see, I am too embarrassed to go back to the lady from SADAG. Is there a particular type of therapy I shd be having and is there a place I can get it where it wouldn' t cost an arm and a leg? I' m a single mum and we' re only just getting by. I have been alone for 8 yrs except for my young daughter but I am worried i have her and I in a shell because of this disorder.

thank you so much I await your advice

Lisa

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Maybe you're right about the nature of the personality problem troubling you. But don't be at all shy about going back to the same therapist ( which would save time ) or to a fresh therapist, and discus what happened to lead to your abrupt departure from the counselling sessions.
Shrinks and counsellors have usually heard it all, in one form or another, and are not interested in forming value judgements about their clients, rather than in looking for ways to help them to help themselves.
Generally, it's CBT, Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy, I recommend, as it has the most good reasearch showing that it is effective and doesn't take very long. Sadag should be able to help you find someone who can provide this - tell them about why you felt too woried to continue last time round, and work with that problem itself as well as the broader problems. This CAN be helped.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Robert | 2009/10/30


Lisa, it is truely sad to hear your story and I simpathise with you. One question comes to mind and that is what happened during your childhood? There must have been some influence when you were younger.
As with Blossom, I can relate to the exact same circumstances she went through that influences ones personality. In my opinion I am not so sure if there is a cure, except thereapy. To change ones personality is not easy and it is not going to happen overnight. But all the best to you, I hope you find some way of improving your situation.

Reply to Robert
Posted by: cybershrink | 2009/10/30

Maybe you're right about the nature of the personality problem troubling you. But don't be at all shy about going back to the same therapist ( which would save time ) or to a fresh therapist, and discus what happened to lead to your abrupt departure from the counselling sessions.
Shrinks and counsellors have usually heard it all, in one form or another, and are not interested in forming value judgements about their clients, rather than in looking for ways to help them to help themselves.
Generally, it's CBT, Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy, I recommend, as it has the most good reasearch showing that it is effective and doesn't take very long. Sadag should be able to help you find someone who can provide this - tell them about why you felt too woried to continue last time round, and work with that problem itself as well as the broader problems. This CAN be helped.

Reply to cybershrink
Posted by: Blossom | 2009/10/29

Oh my gosh, I have the same problem! I never thought there was a diagnosis for this. I have lived in isolation, job hop and dont have friends because its too much effort. I was severely bullied as a child, had a stepdad who hated me coz he was an arse, a mother who sent me to live with all sorts of different people so she could have a new family and went to numerous schools. i thought all these factors have influenced my personality. My husband turns a blind eye to these problems, my children are georgeous, so I am doing something right. But would love to know whether there is a cure for this avoidence personality thing. I avoid people, social settings and only do the bare minimum necessities, like confronting teachers, sorting out kids'  problems, etc. However, i dont have a social life at all as I am ashamed of being pathetic and seen as pathetic.
Would love to know more.

Reply to Blossom

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