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Avoidant Personality Disorder

(Also Known As: APD, Social Inhibition, Personality Disorder)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

What is Avoidant Personality Disorder?

Avoidant Personality Disorder (APD) is a disorder characterized by extreme shyness, feelings of inadequacy and sensitivity to rejection. This condition is a lifelong pattern of behavior which is the source of work problems and relationships with the other people. Individuals having Avoidant Personality Disorder feel inferior to other people. They are often loners and see themselves as weak or unlikable; which is what prevents them from dealing with other people as they fear they will be rejected, humiliated, or ridiculed.

The manifestations of Avoidant Personality Disorder are noticed during the first stage of adulthood and it is related to the rejection that an individual has experienced when he or she was a child with his parents or peers. The symptoms start during childhood years with shyness, wanting to be alone, and a fear of strangers; this behavior will strengthen and increase in middle age and it is equally common in both males and females.1 It has been unclear if the feelings of being rejected are based upon extreme interpersonal monitoring attributed to people with Avoidant Personality Disorder.2

Many times, Avoidant Personality Disorder is compared with Antisocial Personality Disorder, but these disorders are quite different because those with Antisocial Personality Disorder do not follow and/or ignore the norms and regulations of society, while Avoidant Personality Disorder is all about shyness or inhibitions in social settings.3

Could You Have Avoidant Personality Disorder?

Avoidant Personality Disorder Topics

Related Conditions

Anxiety Disorder NOS – Pathological Fears, Excessive Worry, Uncontrolled Anxiety, Depression, Stressed
Social Anxiety Disorder – Anxiety, Emotional Discomfort, Worry, Apprehension Under Social Situations