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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 Avani Vasani

Clinical Psychologist
8 years of experience
One should always remember that there is no harm or shame in giving up or asking for help. In fact, that’s where the real work begins. Greetings! I am a Licensed clinical psychologist with more than 7 years of experience in helping people manage different psychological, emotional and behavioural problems. I have done extensive training under trained professionals in different hospitals and mental institutes. I do not believe in restricting therapy to only mental disorders. I have counselled many clients to improve overall functionality and the betterment of their quality of life. I treat Individuals - with Mood fluctuation, Phobias, Panic, OCD, adjustment, eating disorder, body image, personality disorders. I also offer Marital, Relationship and Family therapy, and assist kids with academics and behavioural problems. I incorporate different techniques such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Dialectal Behavior Therapy, and Mindfulness Behavior Cognitive Therapy. Therapy with me is according to patients needs, their problem and their understanding. :)
Today, 21 Sep, 05:00 pm IST
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2254 happy client sessions

Dr Pooja Sharma

Life Coach, Hypnotherapist, Emotional Counsellor
21 years of experience
Dr Pooja Sharma is an Emotional Wellness counsellor, IMDHA Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, Life Coach and Motivational Speaker. She has done her Masters in Management Studies and Doctorate In Management. Having over 18 Years Of Corporate Experience In Various Sectors, like Healthcare, Education and Pharmaceutical, Dr Pooja Sharma is Founder of Eternal MIND, where focus is on Learning About Emotions And Improvising Self Abilities. She has been associated with various organisations like Global Goodwill Ambassador Association, Navy Wives Welfare Organization as Emotional counsellor, which has honed her expertise in areas of interpersonal relationship, Concentration & Focus, Pre and post Marital issues, Parenting , Adolescence issues and other Personal and Work life concerns. She has conducted various workshop on Emotional Health issues and Personality Development. Dr Pooja is a patient listener and passionate about understanding and helping individuals in their attempt to achieve a sense of well being and purpose in life. She facilitates the process of self-awareness and change management using tailor-made approaches in the best interest of her clients. Dr Pooja Sharma guides and facilitates Emotional Wellness and Personality Development through personalized sessions. She provides services to resolve:- Adolescent Problems, Anxiety, Behaviour & Thought Problems, Anger Counselling and Crisis Management, Depression, Therapy, Early Parenting Issues, Emotional Outbursts, Family Problems, Grief, Individual Counselling, Intimacy Issues, Life Coaching for Loneliness & Low Confidence, Marital Problems, Marriage Counselling, Emotional Health Problems, OCD, Parenting Issues & Doubts, Pre Marital Problems, Stress Management, Trauma, Fear & Phobias.
Tue, Sep 26, 09:30 am IST
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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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