Avoidant Personality Disorder

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Avoidant Personality Disorder

Post  Matthew on Wed Dec 19, 2007 9:30 am

The American Psychiatric Association's DSM-IV-TR, a widely used manual for diagnosing mental disorders, defines avoidant personality disorder as a "pervasive pattern of social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy, and hypersensitivity to negative evaluation, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by four (or more) of the following:

-Avoids occupational activities that involve significant interpersonal contact, because of fears of criticism, disapproval, or rejection
-Is unwilling to get involved with people unless certain of being liked
-Shows restraint within intimate relationships because of the fear of being shamed or ridiculed or rejected
-Is preoccupied with being criticized or rejected in social situations
-Is inhibited in new interpersonal situations because of feelings of inadequacy
-Views self as socially inept, personally unappealing, or inferior to others
-Is unusually reluctant to take personal risks or to engage in any new activities because they may prove embarrassing
-Avoidant personality disorder is often confused with antisocial personality disorder; clinically the term 'anti-social' denotes psychopathy, not social inhibitions.



A mnemonic that can be used to remember the criteria for avoidant personality disorder is AVOIDER.

Avoids occupational activities
Views self as socially inept
Occupied with being criticized or rejected
Inhibited in new interpersonal situations
Declines to get involved with people
Embarrassed by engaging in new activities
Refrains from intimate relationships
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Matthew
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