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Avoidant Personality Disorder (APD) is distinguished by a person’s emotions in regard to serious social inhibition and inadequacy, as well as susceptibility to unfavorable remarks or being rebuffed. It’s more than being introverted or inept in situations with other people. People with the disorder have severe difficulties that influence their capacity to communicate with other people and continue relationships in their everyday lives.

A person with APD may not speak up, because he’s afraid to say something inappropriate or incorrect. He fears that he will blush, stammer or be embarrassed in some way. These individuals take great amounts of time to anxiously study others to make sure if he is accepted or shunned.

It’s reported by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5), which is published by the American Psychiatric Association, that APD affects about 2.4 of people in the nation. In addition, for patients in outpatient psychiatric clinics, between 10 to 20 percent are affected by APD.

Symptoms of DSM-5 (301.82 F60.6 Avoidant Personality Disorder

The DSM-5 reports that an individual who is diagnosed with APD will show a minimum of four of the precedents below.

  • Stays away from job activities that include significant contact with others, because of the fear of being criticized, disapproved of or rejected.
  • The person with the disorder doesn’t associate with others unless he’s positive of acceptance.
  • Restrained in intimate relationships for fear of being embarrassed being made fun of.
  • Has a preoccupation of others disapproving of him or rebuffed in social situations.
  • Is restrained in first-time social scenarios from thinking he is less than others.
  • Sees himself as socially incompetent, personally unattractive or less than other people.
  • Unusually unwilling or afraid to try something new or engage in unfamiliar enterprises for fear of becoming humiliated.
  • Avoidant behavior may be viewed in youngsters and adolescents, but the diagnosis can’t be made in young kids because bashfulness, being afraid of people they don’t know, being unskilled in groups of people or being susceptible to negative comments are frequently their normal behaviors.

Causes of DSM-5 (301.82 F60.6) Avoidant Personality Disorder

It is unknown what causes APD, but most experts think it’s due to biological and genetic factors, social factors—how the induvial interacts in early development with family members, friends and other children—and psychological factors (personality and temperament, which are molded by the environment, and the coping skills learned in order to deal with stress).

If an individual has the disorder, there’s an increased risk for it to be passed down to his children.

Treatment of DSM-5 (301.82 F60.6) Avoidant Personality Disorder

People with APD view themselves negatively, waiting for rejection from other people–thinking the rejection will be intolerable—and frequently never seek therapy, because they believe the therapist will not like them.

While some individuals with personality disorders may tolerate long-term therapy, most people who seek therapy do so only when they’re feeling a great deal of stress (which typically aggravates the symptoms of APD). In shorter-term therapy, a professional will work with the person on the problems they’re currently dealing with and provide them with coping skills. After this shorter-term therapy, the individual will usually stop treatment.

When an individual does seek treatment, the therapist builds trust that’s the basis for it to be successful. The therapist works with the person to explore and reevaluate the negative beliefs about himself. In addition, the therapist helps the individual to identify the beliefs about himself and the risks of dealing with others, working together to modify them. Therapy also helps the person to learn social skills—first with the therapist, where he can practice how to interact with others. When the person has the skills to function with others, he gradually begins to enter social situations, where he can gain confidence and find that the reality of the situation is much less terrifying than he imagined.

Famous People Who Have/Had Avoidant Personality Disorder

Sometimes we’re surprised to find out about actresses, musicians and other celebrities who have disorders, such as APD. It seems that it can’t be possible that these individuals were able to achieve such status and superstardom in spite of the disorders. When they “open up” about themselves to reveal they’re really just like us, it can motivate us to seek therapy to help overcome our fears. These well-known people have let the world see them as they really are—and they are not only accepted but prevail/ed in their careers.

  • The actress Kim Basinger, who has starred in numerous box-office hits, said she had a terrifying fear when she had to speak out in her class when she was a kid. Basinger discussed the disorder and what she does to cope with it.

    Upon accepting an Oscar, she said she didn’t know how to articulate her speech, although she’d practiced it for days before. Basinger admitted to being in therapy for treatment of APD, and it enables her to cope better when she has to deal with other people.
  • Singer Donny Osmond said, in an interview in 2000, that he has APD. He had a serious fright of being on stage to perform. He sang with The Osmonds, followed by singing solo as an adolescent, and always had to struggle with fright and distress before he walked on stage—every time. He was included in a movie regarding serious anxiousness named Afraid of People.
  • Michael Jackson, who died of a medication overdose in 2009, was a singer and entertainer who was known on every part of the globe. He lived as a recluse, dressing in costumes when he did go out and didn’t seem to like the public attention he received. He created a theme park at his house in order visit and not be in the middle of a lot of people elsewhere.
  • Glenn Gould, a Canadian pianist who died of a stroke in 1982, started composing as a youngster. Gould didn’t leave his house much, as he’d rather communicate with others with his piano compositions. Those close to him say that he was introverted and nice.

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