How Do You Help Someone with Avoidant Personality?
What is avoidant personality disorder? Learn more about avoidant personality, how to help someone with avoidant personality and treatment options.
Individuals with avoidant personalities are timid and often find it challenging to maintain relationships with others. These individuals always find a reason to avoid social functions or events because they experience social awkwardness. In addition, people experiencing this disorder are sensitive to judgments because they often feel inadequate.
It is best for individuals experiencing this condition to seek medical opinion because it affects them socially and psychologically. Individuals experiencing this mental health condition are often afraid to speak up in gatherings because they fear getting embarrassed. These individuals tend to anxiously look around for signs of rejection and approval because they have low self-esteem.
What Is Avoidant Personality Disorder?
These individuals experience long-term feelings of inadequacy, rejection, social inhibition, and sensitivity to criticism. The condition affects the individual’s day-to-day life by making it difficult to connect with people.2
Why It’s Important to Address It
The mental health condition is challenging to diagnose because a lot of its symptoms resemble symptoms of some other personality disorder. People with this condition fear disapproval and criticism, hence they often keep to themselves. An avoidant personality disorder marriage tends to fail because the individual with this condition finds it difficult to maintain a relationship.
High functioning avoidant personality disorder in relationships brings about a lack of emotional connections. Dating someone with avoidant personality disorder requires continued patience and understanding. Although the condition shares some symptoms with other personality disorders, diagnosing it is possible. It is crucial to have the correct diagnosis before creating a treatment plan for the individual. In avoidant personality disorder romantic relationships, there are often communication issues because avoidants are emotionally unavailable.
What Are the Causes?
A combination of several factors, such as social, psychological, and biological factors, leads to the development of the disorder. Individuals with anxiety disorder and traits of shyness and fear in unfamiliar situations are at risk of AVPD. The following are some other causes of AVPD in individuals:
Signs and Symptoms of Avoidant Personality Disorder
There are several avoidant personality disorder symptoms that individuals experience. Feeling shy and uncertain is one of the common avoidant personality disorder symptoms. Other signs and symptoms of avoidant personality disorder behaviors in an individual are:
How Do You Help Someone with Avoidant Personality?
Partners of AVPD individuals often wonder how to love someone with an avoidant personality disorder. Some ways to help someone with this condition will be detailed below.
Know the Symptoms of the Disorder
Individuals with this disorder often exhibit various symptoms and feel tense and inhibited. These individuals often spend more time alone and are never with friends. The condition makes it quite difficult for individuals to keep and maintain relationships with others. AVPD increases the individual’s anxiety in social gatherings because these individuals feel inadequate.
Encourage Them to Seek Treatment
One of the best ways to treat avoidant personality disorder behaviors is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Therapy is an efficient way to get individuals to feel adequate and less self-conscious about themselves. During therapy, the individual will find ways to cope better with the condition. Also, tactfully breach the topic with the individuals to avoid making them feel judged and defensive.
Empower Them Through Validation
Encourage Coping Strategies
Most individuals experiencing AVPD are at a high risk of developing some problems with substance abuse. These individuals are prone to anxiety and depression, and having an excellent coping strategy can help them deal with their feelings more constructively. Encourage a good coping strategy to help them constructively deal with their emotions.
Set and Enforce Personal Boundaries
Sometimes individuals with this disorder are often emotionally tiring and unintentionally hurtful. Do not feel guilty if you cannot help them as much as they would like, and be up-front about it. Setting boundaries with them to limit the time needed so it won’t affect other essential parts of your life is vital. These boundaries will inform them of when you will and won’t be available.
Participate in Support Groups
Participation in support groups where individuals with avoidant personalities can discuss their experiences is vital. Communicating with other individuals in avoidant personality disorder support groups often provides a sense of understanding. There are also online support groups for individuals who find it difficult to attend face-to-face meetings.
Develop Their Support Network
Always reach out and encourage the individual to develop a social network by spending time with them. Also, reach out to the individual’s loved ones and motivate them to spend time with the individual.
Do Not Force Them Into Social Situations
Avoid forcing these individuals against their will into social situations. It can be upsetting for these individuals with AVPD to be in the spotlight of conversations. Therefore, placing these individuals in a social gathering against their will is not effective.
Diagnosis of Avoidant Personality Disorder
The following are some of the ways to diagnose avoidant personality disorder in individuals:
Running physical exams also helps to rule out any similar physical problems which may be causing the same symptoms.
In this case, the medical practitioner runs a diagnostic avoidant personality disorder test to be sure. While running the avoidant personality disorder test, the doctor rules out physical illnesses with similar symptoms.
Treatment Options Available for Avoidant Personality
Some avoidant personality treatment options available include:
Getting Professional Help for Avoidant Personality at Pacific Beach Health
High-functioning avoidant personality disorder negatively affects the day-to-day activities of an individual. These individuals feel inadequate; hence they have low self-esteem. It is a disorder that affects the ability of an individual to maintain and initiate relationships with others. Individuals living with this disorder can get professional help for avoidant personality disorder at Pacific Beach Health.
Pacific Beach Health offers various outpatient behavioral health services to individuals. We are professionals with experience in helping individuals with avoidant personality disorder.