• Welcome! It’s great to see you. Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.

    If you'd like to talk with people who know what it's like

Newbie - Friend probably has Dependent or Avoidant Personality Disorder

S

sleepless44

New member
Joined
Dec 2, 2014
Messages
3
Newbie - Friend probably has Dependent or Avoidant Personality Disorder

Hi I am new to the forum and looking for a good ear and support.

A little background...
I have a friend for 22 years. I have always been supportive and encouraging to him, however he has always seemed to hold back - not want to pursue dating, remains living with his parents and more. After starting his first job as a teacher about 16 years, he started feeling overwhelmed and had a nervous breakdown, getting institutionalized for a few months. He did go on to pursue another master's degree and works as a social worker. He seems to survive in a constant state of anxiety, worried about what will happen to his parents, unable to pursue a life independent of them, very pessimistic about his employment prospects despite high performance and accomplishments.

After repeatedly being in conversations that seemed to go in circles, I looked up and saw how many of his symptoms fit Dependent Personality Disorder or Avoidant Personality Disorder (or a combination). A shared this with him, and he was relieved that there was a recognized description to apply to how he often felt. From what I saw, it was recommended to pursue Cognitive Therapy. I supported him as he researched and found a therapist in this area. He started the therapy. After 4 sessions the therapist ended therapy and told my friend that he couldn't help him, and that he should be in group therapy for social anxiety. I didn't think that would help. He tried some group therapy, but just stepped back into the background at the sessions not sharing his situation. I personally had experience in EMDR, and it had made a difference for me, and encouraged him to try that. He found a therapist (the first one he came across) and started therapy. He grew frustrated with the EMDR being conducted in a draw-out way once every 3 sessions. Then the therapist just told him that in order to break out of the state he found himself in he should make a big change in his life. He didn't know what that meant, or how to take that on. I also felt like this was strange advice, considering that he was a person that inherently wrestled with change and sought treatment to better equipped for change in his life. He decided to take a break from that therapist. I encouraged to look into other therapist, and that I would be at his side (even though I am in a different country) to evaluate and consider the next step. He has put this aside.

Now he has turned to me to ask you a favor. He is concerned that when his parents can no longer help him, he believes that he should be institutionalized. So he asked me if I would assist him with this.

First this left me feeling frustrated and angry. I still believe his condition is treatable and he could even get married. He didn't even address my previous offers to be at his side and to help him. I don't want to institutionalize him.

I keep most of my thoughts and frustrations in a private journal, and do not want to take it out on my friend. I was hoping to confide in people here.
 
H

Helena1

Well-known member
Staff Member on Leave
Joined
Oct 11, 2014
Messages
10,575
Location
UK
i think he should be having one to one cbt for his social anxiety. anyone with half a brain can realise that group therapy for social anxiety is not going to be that helpful for all but the mildest cases.
what was he having the cbt for before?

i don't know where you are from but it is very hard to get institutionalized in most places
 
Last edited:
SomersetScorpio

SomersetScorpio

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2012
Messages
13,531
Location
The West Country
Just wanted to welcome you to the forum.
You sound like a really good friend. I don't have much experience of anybody with these personality disorders, but I hope that someone else here will be able to relate to your situation.
 
S

sleepless44

New member
Joined
Dec 2, 2014
Messages
3
Hi SomesetScorpio

Thanks for chiming in!
So far, It's nice to share.
 
S

sleepless44

New member
Joined
Dec 2, 2014
Messages
3
Hi Helena1

Thanks for validating my feelings. I also agree that group therapy is not a good option for my friend's condition. He started CBT therapy after I shared with him the description of the symptoms for Dependent and Avoidant Personality Disorders. He found the Cognitive Therapist. Unfortunately that therapist told my friend that he couldn't help him and pointed him to group therapy.

As for institutionalization, I don't want to institutionalize him, and I don't want to see him institutionalized. I was just sharing the latest twist he shared with me showing the state of despair that he is in and thinking that his only future is to be institutionalized.

I am not even in the same country as him (I am in Israel he is in New York), so I am a sounding board and a source of support.

Thanks for listening.

Sleepless44
 
Top