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Would you tell me a little bit more about your struggle please.
Have you officially been diagnosed with this disorder and if so when?
No, not officially but I am sure I have it
Thanks for joining me. One who is diagnosed with avoidant personality disorder tends to struggle in interpersonal relationships. What symptoms do you relate to?
All of them I think - I always feel nervous around people - this has been going on for a very long time - I feel very frustrated with it, I get lonely, I feel like Im trapped
Is there some relief in finding a "name" for what you have been dealing with? Yes, often there is a discomfort, and sense or feeling of inadequacy. Identifying is a great first step to getting better.
I dont think it brings relief - I just hoped that I would get over it - but personality disorders are life long conditions arent they - I'm doomed!
You are likely hypersensitive to what you believe others may be thinking about you, and that it tends to be more negative thinking- believing others are thinking the worst. You are not doomed- learning more about it is the first step, there is also treatment. It is difficult, yes.
you are right, I feel always threatened by what others think of me - it used to just be worry about what others thought, now its the assumption that everyone will hate me, see me as inadequate, which makes me more anxious and more avoidant. What kind of treatment is there?
Your struggle and unhappiness may motivate you to seek treatment. Like you said you are frustrated and lonely- your are motivated for change. There is hope for change. Often treatment involves seeing a therapist and addressing self esteem, cognitive/thoughts that are not necessarily true. Untwisting one's thinking-
The biggie in seeking therapy is taking the risk to talk to someone about it- knowing you will be uncomfortable- thinking the counselor will think negatively about you- even thought likely won't happen.
A common issue with therapy for this is the high drop out rate in therapy- it can create discomfort and fear initially- but if one sticks with it- it can get better.
You are very right! I went to see a psychologist once, it was going well, but I left because we had reached the end of our sessions - I could have easily continued with it, but was afraid to ask for more sessions fearing that she would not want to see me any more!
A good amount of time will have to be spent increasing your rapport and comfort with a counselor. Much of this disorder involves fear, shame, avoid rejection etc. Do know that it is natural you would be initially uncomfortable sharing how you feel about this. You are taking that risk today!!
I have started meditating, and small exposure exercises, meeting with old friends for small periods of time and trying not to focus on negative thoughts after the get-togethers.
but I think I will go back to therapy
I have a littel girl, shes 18 mths she is so bubbly and friendly with people - I dont want her to pick up on my discomfort around other people
That's great that you have already seen a psychologist and it went well- that's a good sign for future treatment and progress. Even though you are afraid, apprehensive, and all of that- you can still take the steps to get back into counseling. Great things you are already doing!! It's hard to do it on your own- it's so automatic to focus on the more negative with what you are dealing with. You sound ready to take the next step to get better. Trying things on your own but needing a bit more support in your healing. Our children motivate us to get better- to be our best- yes
That's often when people are most motivated for change- having a baby- being that role model for another. She is your gift, and is motivating you.
Bubbly and friendly- yes you want her to stay that way- do what you can to help that along.
Its lovely seeing her be so free with herself and others and I dont want in any way to ever take that away from her because Im afraid to go to social events. I think I'm ready to take the next step as you say - its been lovely just to get this 'taster' (so to speak) just to verbalise the words for the first time in a long time. Thank you.
You are so welcome- do take care and find that support you need and deserve.