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What Is Avoidant Personality Disorder?

Learn about avoidant personality disorder from psychiatrist Ankur Saraiya in this Howcast video.


The key feature of avoidant personality disorder is that these individuals are very concerned that they're going to be poorly judged by other people, and as a result they tend to avoid situations in which they're going to interact with others and potentially be poorly judged. And an additional feature is that these individuals have a lot of distress over the fact that they have to limit their interaction with other people. In other words, they very much would like to be able to participate and have social relationships but because of their degree of concern about being poorly judged they tend to avoid these situations. And in this way avoidant personality disorder is differentiated from schizoid personality disorder, which is another personality disorder in which individuals avoid personal contact. But individuals with schizoid personality disorder generally are not distressed by the fact that they're so isolated. Whereas individuals with avoidant personality disorder very much want to have these relationships but they're so worried about being poorly judged that they tend to avoid these situations and it tends to get in their way of forming relationships, friendships, and romantic relationships. Really, any relationship. So that's the basic overview of avoidant personality disorder.

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