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Why I think I have avoidant personality disorder

N

Nagason

New member
Joined
Apr 12, 2021
Messages
2
Location
Uk
I've been diagnosed with many mental health disorders over the years. Major depressive disorder on the bipolar spectrum, generalised and social anxiety disorder, ADHD, PTSD. I've always struggled to understand why I'm like I am and why I feel so completely different to everyone else.

My daughter is very mentally ill now and I have been reading everything I can find about different disorders to try and understand how she can get the help she needs. She is being well looked after in a unit now. Whilst doing all this research I came across avoidant personality disorder and thought it described me in every way. I can't believe this has been overlooked by health professionals all these years. I have had so much therapy of many types but maybe I haven't expressed my feelings enough for apd to be considered. I don't know. Anyway, this is how things have been for me. I welcome your views.

From my earliest memories (toddler onwards) I have had a very low anxiety threshold and a predisposition to blushing lots and very easily. My, 2 years older, brother was a nasty piece of work. He would constantly, verbally and physically, bully me. He was clever and would do this quietly, out of sight of my parents. He would push and push until, eventually, I couldn't take any more and would fly into a rage and attack him back. I could never win against him, bigger and older than me. I would be in a state of anger, frustration, and tantrum like behaviour with floods of tears. So when a parent came along I was the one who was causing the trouble and took the blame and shame. They, of course, knew it was provoked in someway but they would ignore that fact and tell me to "toughen up". If this event happened when out or when others were at our house my parents would tell me that I was an embarrassment to them. The result of this was regular humiliation, ridicule and regection for me.
My dad was a very successful business man who was also obsessed with motorbike development and racing. He was very good at this and was regarded highly in motorsports, he was British champion for a few years while I was young. He was and still is a perfectionist. My brother followed him into motorbike racing and was successful too.
There was huge pressure for me to do the same but I didn't want to. As a consequence of bullying, emotional neglect and pressure, I retreated into myself. I felt different, inadequate, inferior, an embarrassment, a disappointment and helpless. I was fearful of speaking in any social situations in case I was humiliated about my excessive blushing. I immersed myself in fiction books, role-playing games and computers. If I was alone I could escape from my life in this way. I became withdrawn and would hide away at any sign of risk.
At school it was much the same as at home. I was very quiet and fearful, and always on high alert. I would do all I could not to be noticed to escape the bullying that came my way.
Many things happened over the years but I havent changed much.
I see things so negatively. The world is dangerous. I only feel safe at home with my wife and kids. As soon as I step outside I feel like anyone that sees or talks to me is judging me. I fear they will see how pathetic I am. I have no sense of identity, I spend all my time worrying. I avoid social situations if possible but if I can't then I will spend my time on the sidelines trying to avoid conversation.
I have one friend that I trust to some extent but I push people away so they can't see what I'm trying to hide. I am socially inept.
I don't try new things in case I'm exposed, it's too risky.
If someone rejects me or criticises me, my world comes crashing down. I can't handle it.
I'm also incredibly self critical, if I don't do something perfectly then I'm a failure.
I think that covers most things. I was convinced it was along the lines of social phobia and anxiety but it seems it is much deeper than that. I perceive the world differently, my beliefs are different to others, it is with me All of the time and has been for over 40 years.
Avoidant personality disorder?
 
jajingna

jajingna

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 31, 2020
Messages
5,459
Location
Canada
Welcome to the forum. It's not really for anybody here to say what you might suffer from. But if you meet the criteria I'm sure you have your opinion already.
 
N

Nagason

New member
Joined
Apr 12, 2021
Messages
2
Location
Uk
Thank you for the welcome. I'm sorry, I think my post is misleading, my bad. I'm not looking for a diagnosis. My opinion is that I may have APD, and I want to talk about it with people that understand. I guess I just want some contact with well meaning people, whatever their opinion may be. It would help me feel supported a bit. Its a lonely world.
 
jajingna

jajingna

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 31, 2020
Messages
5,459
Location
Canada
Many years ago my psychiatrist then mentioned something about me having social phobia, and that was just a little remark she made. It was never like an official diagnosis but I knew even in high school I had avoidant tendencies like not eating with other students in the cafeteria. And now it's like 35 years later and I still have issues with social anxiety and am pretty sure I have the disorder that I never got treatment for. It's not an easy thing to live with and it's tiresome.
 
M

ManDss

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 22, 2018
Messages
1,187
Location
Argentina
Could be. Simply, do you avoid social interactions because you feel anxious, or shame, or due any bad feeling of yourself in social situations ? If you have this kins of conduct, then yes, you have avoidant personality disorder. This kind of disorder isnt very "harsh" as other diagnosis, its more like a mild disorder, its related with social anxiety, which can be just "a shy person", or someone extremely reclusive.
 
I

IntellectualOutcast

New member
Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
2
Location
Delran, NJ
I've been diagnosed with many mental health disorders over the years. Major depressive disorder on the bipolar spectrum, generalised and social anxiety disorder, ADHD, PTSD. I've always struggled to understand why I'm like I am and why I feel so completely different to everyone else.

My daughter is very mentally ill now and I have been reading everything I can find about different disorders to try and understand how she can get the help she needs. She is being well looked after in a unit now. Whilst doing all this research I came across avoidant personality disorder and thought it described me in every way. I can't believe this has been overlooked by health professionals all these years. I have had so much therapy of many types but maybe I haven't expressed my feelings enough for apd to be considered. I don't know. Anyway, this is how things have been for me. I welcome your views.

From my earliest memories (toddler onwards) I have had a very low anxiety threshold and a predisposition to blushing lots and very easily. My, 2 years older, brother was a nasty piece of work. He would constantly, verbally and physically, bully me. He was clever and would do this quietly, out of sight of my parents. He would push and push until, eventually, I couldn't take any more and would fly into a rage and attack him back. I could never win against him, bigger and older than me. I would be in a state of anger, frustration, and tantrum like behaviour with floods of tears. So when a parent came along I was the one who was causing the trouble and took the blame and shame. They, of course, knew it was provoked in someway but they would ignore that fact and tell me to "toughen up". If this event happened when out or when others were at our house my parents would tell me that I was an embarrassment to them. The result of this was regular humiliation, ridicule and regection for me.
My dad was a very successful business man who was also obsessed with motorbike development and racing. He was very good at this and was regarded highly in motorsports, he was British champion for a few years while I was young. He was and still is a perfectionist. My brother followed him into motorbike racing and was successful too.
There was huge pressure for me to do the same but I didn't want to. As a consequence of bullying, emotional neglect and pressure, I retreated into myself. I felt different, inadequate, inferior, an embarrassment, a disappointment and helpless. I was fearful of speaking in any social situations in case I was humiliated about my excessive blushing. I immersed myself in fiction books, role-playing games and computers. If I was alone I could escape from my life in this way. I became withdrawn and would hide away at any sign of risk.
At school it was much the same as at home. I was very quiet and fearful, and always on high alert. I would do all I could not to be noticed to escape the bullying that came my way.
Many things happened over the years but I havent changed much.
I see things so negatively. The world is dangerous. I only feel safe at home with my wife and kids. As soon as I step outside I feel like anyone that sees or talks to me is judging me. I fear they will see how pathetic I am. I have no sense of identity, I spend all my time worrying. I avoid social situations if possible but if I can't then I will spend my time on the sidelines trying to avoid conversation.
I have one friend that I trust to some extent but I push people away so they can't see what I'm trying to hide. I am socially inept.
I don't try new things in case I'm exposed, it's too risky.
If someone rejects me or criticises me, my world comes crashing down. I can't handle it.
I'm also incredibly self critical, if I don't do something perfectly then I'm a failure.
I think that covers most things. I was convinced it was along the lines of social phobia and anxiety but it seems it is much deeper than that. I perceive the world differently, my beliefs are different to others, it is with me All of the time and has been for over 40 years.
Avoidant personality disorder?
I think I have it too, along with depression and a few other issues. I will socialize but, after being rejected (my perception or actual), I retreat and obsess over my social ineptitude.
My sister overdosed last year and I feel like it's my fault. She was Borderline and it could be draining to interact with her (like a Harry Potter books dementor), but it's difficult to get past feeling that she was my responsibility and that I failed her. My brother seems to be avoiding me so I am starting to think he blames me too.
After a lifetime of failures, it is difficult to view myself in any positive light. The only time I get any solace is by using drugs.
I understand your fear of rejection all too well.
 
jajingna

jajingna

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 31, 2020
Messages
5,459
Location
Canada
One thing that is sort of a positive about social anxiety, if there is anything positive about it, is it does give me some empathy and ability to notice it in others. This has taken a long time too as I finally feel like I have more understanding of this complicated issue. Maybe I'm seeing it more than it is really there and I'm just guessing, but my point here is if you become more aware of your own issues and their implications or whatever, you could then be aware of the same sort of stuff in other people if you are around them enough and are paying attention to their behaviors. Not that you should play amateur psychologist or anything like that, just that it becomes hard not to notice when you see patterns of behavior that align with a bunch of symptoms you know exist in yourself.
 
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