Avoidant Personality Disorder

Topics: Avoidant personality disorder, Personality disorder, Borderline personality disorder Pages: 7 (2248 words) Published: February 5, 2011
Avoidant personality disorder

University of Wilmington


This research report discusses the Avoidant Personality Disorder. It discusses the inciting incident that may have given birth to the very development of this disorder. Furthermore the effects of the incident will be overviewed showing the varying aspects of an individual’s life that are directly affected. I have included the various types of treatment and their effectiveness at attempting to help cope with this disorder.

Avoidant Personality Disorder

Avoidant Personality Disorder is a disorder in which a person is detached from interactions with others due to a fear. These fears often manifest into phobias causing characteristic damage which is seen as social awkward behavior. As an individual is suffering from Avoidant Personality Disorder there are many aspects that relate to the severity of the disorder. There is the incident in which caused the disorder, the impact on quality of life and the way the disorder is handled. These three factors play the largest role in determining the severity and the effectiveness of treatment. “The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.; DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association, 1994) reported that the prevalence of Avoidant Personality Disorder was between 0.5% and 1.0% in the general population”( KariAnne, V., et., 2009, p. 1). This is a very alarming percentage given the size of the world’s population and that this disorder is the cause of other disorders. Avoidant Personality Disorder contributes 16%-27% of the eating disorder population (KariAnne, V., et., 2009, p. 2).

Often associated with a Personality Disorder there is an incident that impacts an individual causing the disorder. It is the way the event is perceived that determines the level of damage caused. It is seen at a young age that socially timid children display a higher level of sympathetic reactions from different things within their environment. This change in the child’s reactions is a form a predisposition in which makes them more susceptible to developing a Personality disorder. Now not all Avoidant Personality Disorder patients start out at a younger age, sample groups have shown the mean ages of affected individuals being around the age of 16.5 years old (Samuel, T., et, al. 1986, p.7.). The general belief however is that this avoidant pattern began at an early age in life and results from innate biological factors (Lynn, A., 1989, p. 1). It is still uncertain though, that a biological predisposition is sufficient enough to account for the emergence of this condition and that environmental factors transform the predisposition into the long-standing behavior pattern (Lynn, A., 1989, p. 2). For instance at an early age if a child were to be laughed at or embarrassed the child might began to fear being around a group of others. This fear of being socially exploited can manifest into a phobia causing a feeling of rejection or feeling cast out of the crowd. Often as miniscule as the event is, the person experiencing the scenario will often have a perception that’s skewed from reality, where the event as a thought is much worst then it often truly is. While the person may or may not be responsible for the event that has taken place the irrational fear has already made detrimental effects on the persons psyche. Experiencing this social out casting the individual may feel compelled to avoid a situation in which the individual may be exposed to scrutiny by others, due to a fear of humiliation or embarrassment (Samuel, T., et, al. 1986, p. 2.). As a person develops from this occurrence the initial fear of embarrassment can manifest into other Personality Disorders such as, anxiety, claustrophobia, social withdraw and even depression. During high school years acceptance is key in developing...

References: KariAnne, V., Asle, H., Øyvind, R., Egil, M., Jan, R. (2009, Dec 10).
Craig, S., Richard, G., Debra, A. (1991, Sep 4).
Samuel, T., Deborah, B., Ruth, T. (1991, Aug 5).
A Comparison of Specific and generalized Subtypes and Avoidant Personality Disorder.
Lynn, A. (1989, May 3).
Short-Term Structured Treatment for Avoidant Personality Disorder.
Michelle, P., Trevor, O., John, P., Barry, D. (2007).
Changes in Defensive Functioning in a Case of Avoidant Personality Disorder
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