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Do I have Avoidant Personality Disorder? can it be treated with self-help?

A

anaramdanis

New member
Joined
Oct 20, 2016
Messages
4
Do I have Avoidant Personality Disorder? can it be treated with self-help?

I'm a girl and 23. I’m an international student from a Southeast Asian country and currently studying master where I have no sufficient knowledge and experience. I made a mistake by enrolling an advanced subject that I actually had to take in last semester. We had a group project, and I did my best to contribute to the project. One day, all of my team members left, and we had a presentation next morning. It was just me and this friend and there were so many things to do in one night. At one point he almost gave up, and when I asked him what should do, he said, “It’s just too much for one person to finish this. I know that you want to help, but you have no skill to help me, I need someone that meet my standard. No offense, but that’s the truth. I just don't know, I don't care, maybe we will fail. Just go home if you want.”

Being a sponsored student, I was so afraid of failing. I feel angry because I did all the presentation by myself and wrote some of the parts as well, but I know that he is somewhat right. We ended up stayed until 6 a.m at uni, and we had a presentation at 10 a.m on the same day because I kept telling him that I really want to help. I didn't deny or argue, I just want to finish everything ASAP even if I had to push back my tears entire night.

I broke down after we finished my presentation. I couldn't stop crying, and I had trouble to sleep properly. My mom tried to cheer me up and comfort me, and I said I’m okay. I want to, but those words keep resurfacing, and I feel awful. I think it hurts me more because I know he was telling the truth, but I don't want to tell others because of it is quite pitiful.

Yesterday, I came across some articles when I read some website to overcome my rejection. I realized that I fit most of the symptoms of avoidant personality disorder. The experience that I wrote above didn't happen only once. I fear rejection so much and have a hard time to overcome it. Once I stopped talking to my father (we live separately) because he refused to help me, I lost contact with my ex-best friend after we met and she replied my greetings coldly; I refused to contact people from my elementary and middle school, even though they (maybe) changed, because I used to be bullied. I even stopped replying my friends’ messages because I felt overwhelmed. A few years ago, there was a guy who was close to me, we were good friends, and he took care of me really well, when he confessed I freaked out, and I started to avoid him, and I eventually wrote him a letter that I’m not interested in dating a few months later.

I also don't like being a center of attention, including public speaking. I tend to tell my ideas to my friends in the class discussion so they’re the one who speaks for me. Once, in my first semester of college, I dozed off, and the lecturer asked me to read something on the slide because I was startled my voice was shaking so much, and all of my classmates laughed at me. Now, whenever I gave a presentation, people always say that I talk like I’m on the verge of tears.

I cannot socialize really well either, I tend to spend my time at home, not because I don't like meeting people (I like it when there are just a few people not too many), it's because I often got ignored. Once I had an initiation program with people who got the same scholarship as mine joining a program. They are really smart and bright, but I felt left out, so for during the whole week, I always go to my room whenever lunch and dinner time comes because I don't have anyone to eat with, I felt so at ease when the program ends.

I really want to make new friends, I like art and drawing, so I signed up for this drawing society at my uni, but I couldn't get myself to come to their event. My drawing is just so-so, and I’m ofter stuttering when I meet new people, so I just don't come.

The reason why I write this is because I’m afraid this will affect my life, I have so many presentations coming up, and I couldn't hide forever. I know that the world is not all rainbow that I eventually will face another rejection and unpleasant moments. I actually have a dream to go back to my country and solve many problems there, but I need connection, and I need a good public speaking skill (which I don't have atm). But how can I do that if I cannot deal with myself? I often question myself whether I take a right major (which requires me to talk in public a lot) or not.

I don't want to go to counseling service, if my mom finds out I’m afraid she will be worried to death and I don't have courage to do so. Do I really have this problem or I’m just imagining things? Can it be treated by self-help? Moreover, I have INFP personality type, does it have anything to do with AvPD? Because I saw so many similar questions online about INFP and AvPD. It would be so much appreciated if you can help me to overcome this problem. Thank you.
 
BorderlineDownunder

BorderlineDownunder

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 23, 2015
Messages
17,160
I'm a girl and 23. I’m an international student from a Southeast Asian country and currently studying master where I have no sufficient knowledge and experience. I made a mistake by enrolling an advanced subject that I actually had to take in last semester. We had a group project, and I did my best to contribute to the project. One day, all of my team members left, and we had a presentation next morning. It was just me and this friend and there were so many things to do in one night. At one point he almost gave up, and when I asked him what should do, he said, “It’s just too much for one person to finish this. I know that you want to help, but you have no skill to help me, I need someone that meet my standard. No offense, but that’s the truth. I just don't know, I don't care, maybe we will fail. Just go home if you want.”

Being a sponsored student, I was so afraid of failing. I feel angry because I did all the presentation by myself and wrote some of the parts as well, but I know that he is somewhat right. We ended up stayed until 6 a.m at uni, and we had a presentation at 10 a.m on the same day because I kept telling him that I really want to help. I didn't deny or argue, I just want to finish everything ASAP even if I had to push back my tears entire night.

I broke down after we finished my presentation. I couldn't stop crying, and I had trouble to sleep properly. My mom tried to cheer me up and comfort me, and I said I’m okay. I want to, but those words keep resurfacing, and I feel awful. I think it hurts me more because I know he was telling the truth, but I don't want to tell others because of it is quite pitiful.

Yesterday, I came across some articles when I read some website to overcome my rejection. I realized that I fit most of the symptoms of avoidant personality disorder. The experience that I wrote above didn't happen only once. I fear rejection so much and have a hard time to overcome it. Once I stopped talking to my father (we live separately) because he refused to help me, I lost contact with my ex-best friend after we met and she replied my greetings coldly; I refused to contact people from my elementary and middle school, even though they (maybe) changed, because I used to be bullied. I even stopped replying my friends’ messages because I felt overwhelmed. A few years ago, there was a guy who was close to me, we were good friends, and he took care of me really well, when he confessed I freaked out, and I started to avoid him, and I eventually wrote him a letter that I’m not interested in dating a few months later.

I also don't like being a center of attention, including public speaking. I tend to tell my ideas to my friends in the class discussion so they’re the one who speaks for me. Once, in my first semester of college, I dozed off, and the lecturer asked me to read something on the slide because I was startled my voice was shaking so much, and all of my classmates laughed at me. Now, whenever I gave a presentation, people always say that I talk like I’m on the verge of tears.

I cannot socialize really well either, I tend to spend my time at home, not because I don't like meeting people (I like it when there are just a few people not too many), it's because I often got ignored. Once I had an initiation program with people who got the same scholarship as mine joining a program. They are really smart and bright, but I felt left out, so for during the whole week, I always go to my room whenever lunch and dinner time comes because I don't have anyone to eat with, I felt so at ease when the program ends.

I really want to make new friends, I like art and drawing, so I signed up for this drawing society at my uni, but I couldn't get myself to come to their event. My drawing is just so-so, and I’m ofter stuttering when I meet new people, so I just don't come.

The reason why I write this is because I’m afraid this will affect my life, I have so many presentations coming up, and I couldn't hide forever. I know that the world is not all rainbow that I eventually will face another rejection and unpleasant moments. I actually have a dream to go back to my country and solve many problems there, but I need connection, and I need a good public speaking skill (which I don't have atm). But how can I do that if I cannot deal with myself? I often question myself whether I take a right major (which requires me to talk in public a lot) or not.

I don't want to go to counseling service, if my mom finds out I’m afraid she will be worried to death and I don't have courage to do so. Do I really have this problem or I’m just imagining things? Can it be treated by self-help? Moreover, I have INFP personality type, does it have anything to do with AvPD? Because I saw so many similar questions online about INFP and AvPD. It would be so much appreciated if you can help me to overcome this problem. Thank you.
hi and welcome

you may not have it but you may develop it.

the best thing is to get Connection with people as avoidance leads to isolation which leads to depression.

you have a stressor there, in that someone was rude to you and you were in the wrong class. But your reaction to the stressor was out of proportion and something counselling can help with.

can you get involved in a cultural group you feel comfortable in, an art group, a walking group, basically anything that is non threatening but will build your community.

people need a village around them to feel well. its just the way we are built. the village can look like anything also, you don't even need to like your village much but the important part is Being Part of Something Alongside Others.

I would suggest to stop worrying about the things you want to avoid but try purposely to do more of the things you feel ok about.

going for an icecream with one friend. Going to the drawing show even if it is hard, it is super important that you go even if its just for a very short time. The next time it wont be so frightening.

then the next time someone will say hi

then the next time youll swap numbers

all you probably need is One Good Friend and youll be off enjoying life again.

in short, no I do not think you have AVPD you are having adjustment issues and isolation. But I'm no doctor and none of us here are so its just an opinion.

I really wish you well. Please try for the drawing class. Maybe you could go along to a more anonymous one and just watch, first, to see what to expect.

Usually you wont be next to any Picasso. :hug:
 
B

Blue229

Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2016
Messages
14
Location
NSW, Australia
Hi anaramdanis,

I'm sorry that I don’t have the answers you are looking for, but my heart goes out to you for the tough times you are experiencing. I once had a girlfriend who was in a similar situation, an international student from Asia. Although she didn't have avpd, she was quite shy and introverted and had a hard time forming friendships.

Anyway, was it just fear of your mother finding out that keeps you from going to counselling? Surely as an adult, your sessions would be completely confidential. I agree that it takes courage to seek help for these things, but it can really turn your life around. If you are interested in self help, Mood Gym is a fairly useful tool for things like depression and anxiety. It was actually recommended to me by a psychologist. The link for the site is below.

MoodGYM: Welcome

Hugs
 
A

anaramdanis

New member
Joined
Oct 20, 2016
Messages
4
Thank you for your advice guys, it meant a lot to me. Sorry for neglecting this thread haha, last week was my final week at uni, so I was quite busy.

I'm not sure about the drawing club; I hope I can join next semester after I practice some more during holiday, but we'll see haha. The thing about going to counseling is that I don't know if it helps. I mean, it's not that I'm the only one with the problem like that, I feel so silly if I go for counseling for something that maybe sounds so petty, and I'm not whether it is a good idea to talk about it with a stranger. Those counselors probably can take care of the other people who really need help instead of wasting their time helping me haha.

but really, thanks for your replies,
 
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