Avoidant personality disorder
People diagnosed with avoidant personality disorder are socially inhibited, meaning that they are shy and afraid of social situations. They feel that they are not good people and are afraid of people rejecting them. They are very sensitive to other people saying bad or negative things about them.
Psychiatrists and other mental health professionals diagnose people with avoidant personality disorder using a book called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR). They look at a person's behaviour and how they are feeling. If the person has four or more of the following signs, the DSM-IV-TR says that they have AvPD.
- Avoids jobs or activities that involve a lot of contact with other people because of being very afraid of rejection or being criticised by other people
- Does not want to get involved with people unless they are sure that the other person likes them
- Is restrained or reserved in relationships and does not let people get too close because of being afraid of being made to feel bad
- Spends a lot of time thinking about being criticised or rejected in social situations
- Feels inhibited when meeting new people because of feeling not as good as other people
- Thinks that they are not good with people, not attractive, or not as good as other people
- Does not like to take risks or do new things in case they get embarrassed or feel bad