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Overview of Avoidant Personality Disorder

Feeling shy, self-conscious and wary of other people's judgments and criticisms is a very common and normal part of being human. However, for some people these fears can reach high levels and become debilitating and a source of suffering and distress. One can thus talk about a spectrum of social anxiety. Social Phobia describes the point where these fears begin to have a significant impact on a person's mental health. In more severe cases, where these fears seem to affect all aspects of a person's life and to be part of their general personality, the diagnosis becomes Avoidant Personality Disorder.

People with Avoidant Personality Disorder have a lot of difficulty warming up to others, joining others in activities, or starting new friendships and intimate relationships, because they tend to feel very inadequate and to worry a lot about how other people may be viewing them and judging them. As a result, they often end up lonely and unable to reach their potential in school and in careers. As with all personality disorders, this condition tends to run a long-term, persistent course, but certain treatments are available.

 

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Symptoms & Definition