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Mental Health Care for AVPD

People with this condition may have low self-esteem. They might determine their worth based on what others think of them. Because of this disease, any negative comments can cause extreme pain. So, they may avoid meeting new people and social interaction. AVPD can make it difficult to form an intimate relationship.
They may still want to have friends and desire intimacy. But because they are hyper aware of the potential criticism, they may try to do everything to avoid it. This fear of rejection may seem difficult to overcome. Yet, there are ways to cope with the symptoms and live a happy life.
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Ms Jennifer Sarah J

Counselling Psychologist, Mindfulness Practitioner
3 years of experience
My approach is deeply rooted in creating a safe, non-judgmental space where clients feel heard, understood, and valued. Hi, I am Jennifer! I am a dedicated counseling psychologist, passionate about helping individuals reach their fullest potential and achieve greater well-being. With extensive experience in counseling and a focus on person-centered therapy, cognitive restructuring, and mindfulness practices, I have had the privilege of working with over 2000 clients across various settings. In my therapy sessions, I bring empathy, compassion, and unconditional positive regard to every session, fostering an environment where clients can explore their thoughts, feelings, and experiences with authenticity and dedication. I hold a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology and a Diploma as a Mindfulness Practitioner. Working across diverse backgrounds, such as mental health institutions, renowned companies, special schools, juvenile homes, psychiatric clinics, etc., has enriched my knowledge and work ethic. Moreover, I specialize in addressing concerns such as self-improvement, relationship issues, career-related issues, academic-related concerns, self-esteem, sleep, stress management, anxiety, depression, and more. I utilize an eclectic and humanistic approach to therapy, catering to the specific needs of my clients, guiding them toward cultivating self-awareness and self-understanding, enhancing emotional resilience, and managing stress. I strive to ensure my clients feel heard, validated, safe, inclusive, and accepted in my therapy sessions and that we work collaboratively to address their concerns.
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Ms Neha Kumar

Counselling Psychologist
3 years of experience
Therapy with me involves cultivating practical and effective treatment strategies that help manage symptoms and promote overall well-being.  Hi, I’m Neha, a proficient counseling psychologist with a rich therapeutic journey spanning over 3 years and helping numerous clients with varied populations from ages 18 and onwards. Throughout my practice, I have addressed a comprehensive range of concerns, such as Anxiety issues, Depression, Stress, Relationship issues, Phobias, Grief, and other mental health disorders. In my practice, I employ an eclectic approach of evidence-based techniques alongside empathy and acceptance to provide effective and personalized treatment. I firmly believe in the concept of holistic healing, which involves addressing the emotional, cognitive, and behavioral aspects that contribute to an individual's comprehensive well-being and growth. Whether you are processing painful emotions, healing from past trauma, looking to develop healthier behavioral habits, or seeking greater self-awareness, I aim to understand that every client's needs, abilities, and receptiveness are unique. I am passionate about encouraging individuals, couples, and families to cultivate self-awareness and build healthier and meaningful relationships. In my practice, I employ a diverse blend of therapeutic modalities, including Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), Mindfulness and Wellness practices, Existential Approaches, Narrative Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). These techniques are implemented within a safe, supportive environment where clients feel understood, valued, and empowered. I commit to working collaboratively with clients to develop constructive coping strategies, enabling them to unlock their fullest potential and create a life of balance, fulfillment, and meaning. I am passionate about helping individuals navigate their unique journeys toward healing and growth. Together, we can develop healthier relationships with ourselves and others, enhance our emotional resilience, and achieve positive coping mechanisms for a more authentic and fulfilling life. Through our work, you will gain the tools and insights needed to overcome challenges and embrace a more balanced, fulfilling life.
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A Quick Overview

An avoidant personality disorder (APVD) can create feelings of extreme shyness and social anxiety. It could also lead to avoidance of social situations. If you have this condition, you may avoid socializing due to the fear of rejection and negative criticism. This ailment may be more than shyness and social awkwardness. It is also characterized as Cluster C personality disease. Anxious, fearful thinking or behavior characterizes this illness. If not treated with counseling, you may find doing daily tasks, like your job, extremely difficult.

Major Causes

What causes this ailment is unknown. However, it may involve genetic, environmental, social, and psychological factors.
This condition might be prevalent in some families and passed down to new generations. It may also result from the early childhood environment, the relationships you form as a child, and life experiences.
Some experts believe that this condition may develop as a coping mechanism for challenging or traumatic situations. It could be the body's way of protecting itself from painful experiences. Extreme shyness and avoiding relationships can serve as defense mechanisms to protect you from emotional pain.
Shyness, common in early childhood, can extend throughout adolescence and maturity in those with this illness. Those suffering from the disease report previous experiences of parental or peer rejection. This could harm a person's self-esteem and sense of worth.
Your attachment or abandonment experiences with your initial caregivers may impact the development of this ailment. Childhood caregiver bonds might often serve as the foundation for later-life partnerships. If you accept their criticism, you may develop a negative self-image and have difficulty trusting others.
Personality disorders can develop if your caregivers used to criticize, demean, and ignore your needs instead of providing a nurturing and encouraging environment. Such experience in the early stages of life can lead to the development of a fearful attachment style. Thus, they crave intimacy but distrust others, which leads to them being alone.
Adopted children may be more likely to have mental conditions like this one compared to non-adopted children. Studies suggest there is a high chance for patients to perceive their parents as less affectionate, encouraging, and endearing.
This fearful or avoidant attachment pattern might make forming partnerships harder. Despite your yearning for intimacy, you may be unable to overcome the underlying fear of encountering the same rejection and scorn.

Common Signs

Key signs of this illness may include:
  • Avoiding jobs that may need extensive interpersonal contact because of worries about criticism, disapproval, or rejection.
  • Hesitating to engage with anyone until they are sure of being liked.
  • Fear of being disliked or ridiculed. This may cause restraint in close relationships.
  • Constant worry about criticism or rejection in social situations.
  • Withholding from new interpersonal situations due to thoughts of inadequacy.
  • Considering themselves socially awkward, unpleasant, or inferior to others.
  • Hesitating to take personal risks or engage in new activities for fear of embarrassment.
  • Avoiding conflict and can come across as a people-pleaser.
  • Anhedonia
  • Desire to be liked and are sensitive to negative feedback.
  • Lack of a social network.
  • They might not share intimate feelings with someone or avoid close relationships.

Risk Factors

The risk factors include:
  • Family history: Some members may have a genetic predisposition toward developing such ailments. As this genetic material passes down through generations, some family members can be prone to them.
  • Childhood abuse and neglect: Abuse as a child can increase the risk of almost every mental illness, including AVPD. Plus, parental neglect could be involved in the development of this condition.
  • Adoptions: Adopted children might be more prone to developing personality diseases. They may feel that their needs, whether emotional or physical, are usually neglected. It can increase the risk of the development of these diseases.
  • Fearful attachment style: It is a need for connection in the face of interpersonal distrust and rejection dread. It may be particularly relevant to AVPD.
  • Temperament: Men and women with this disease might be cautious about avoiding harm. This trait links to neuroticism and shy or anxious traits. These characteristics might exhibit themselves in childhood. They are likely related to a combination of heredity and early-life experiences.

Related Conditions

Other mental health conditions can occur along with avoidant personality conditions. In these circumstances, medical professionals may tailor treatments to reduce the symptoms of each illness. Among the most common conditions associated with this ailment are:
  • Social phobia: A condition in which a person experiences feelings of overwhelming anxiety and self-consciousness in everyday social situations. There is a clear relationship between social anxiety disorder and this condition. In some instances, the two diseases may be diagnosed together. Those with both conditions might experience extreme and disabling anxiety symptoms. Without treatment, they may struggle at work and with loneliness.
  • Dependent personality disorder: A condition in which people may rely on others for advice or decision-making. Feelings of inadequacy, a need for reassurance, and hypersensitivity to criticism mark dependent personality disease and AVPD. Both of these conditions may occur together in historic and BPDs.
  • Borderline personality disorder: People with BPD may have difficulties in many areas. These include social relationships, behavior, mood, and self-image.
Social support can be beneficial when it comes to usual life stress. If you don't have that support, you might struggle to manage difficulties and feel overwhelmed.
Research also suggests that loneliness can factor into other health issues, including:
  • Sleep disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Substance use

How is it Different From Social Anxiety?

A person with social anxiety may have a heightened fear of social engagement due to potential scrutiny concerns. People suffering from SAD might know that their fears of severe judgment may be unjustified, even if they can't control them. But, people with AVPD may believe they are inferior, and criticism could be warranted. SAD patients can also experience performance anxiety. They may be concerned that they might say or do something embarrassing.
AVPD can cause negative self-evaluation in comparison to others. Those suffering from this condition may be highly critical of themselves and have a negative self-image. They might project this onto others, assuming that others see them the same way they do.
SAD patients may avoid certain situations, such as meeting new people and public speaking. A person with an avoidant personality might feel discouraged from participating in activities that affect all aspects of their life. They may repress their emotions, avoid being in a relationship, have restricted employment prospects, do not trust others, and so on.

How to Deal With Your Symptoms

Psychotherapy could be the most effective treatment for this condition. There are no specific medications to treat this condition. However, antidepressants and anxiety medications could help with your symptoms. Therapy aims to help you identify your unconscious beliefs and how others perceive you. It also aims to help you function better socially and at work.
Psychodynamic Therapy: It can help you become aware of your unconscious. It can assist you in comprehending how your past experiences influence your current behavior. You can evaluate and address old emotional disputes and traumas. Then you can move forward with a more positive attitude about yourself and how others perceive you.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy: CBT can help people learn how to identify and change destructive or disturbing thought patterns that may negatively influence behavior and emotions.
Other than therapy, a mental health professional can help you reframe negative beliefs and practice social skills. They may also help you learn coping strategies to manage distress and address other mental health issues such as anxiety, stress, or depression.

Get Treatment From a Licensed Therapist Who’s Right For You

If you have such a condition, discussing your concerns with a therapist may feel terrifying. Even if you believe counseling could help ease some of your distress, your fear of criticism and judgment may outweigh your desire for help.
When it comes to treatment for this disease, it's usually best to choose a therapist specializing in treating these conditions, especially since its symptoms might mimic social anxiety symptoms.

Schedule a Virtual Psychotherapy Appointment with a Counsellor Today

If you or a loved one suspects you have this ailment, making an appointment with a mental health counselor, therapist, or psychologist may be the best place to start. From the comfort of your own home, you can make an appointment with a compassionate therapist with experience in these illnesses. Make an appointment with a therapist through Docvita right now.


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