incredible-marketing Arrow

Avoidant Personality Disorder and Treatment Options: Everything You Need to Know

Avoidant personality disorder (APD) affects nearly 1% of the U.S. population. Characterized by negative emotion, detachment, and significant distress, a person with this disorder may experience symptoms that affect all aspects of their daily life. One person shared their experience of having APD on The Mighty. Here is an excerpt from their story: Avoiding all kinds of situations doesn’t make us happy; it’s exhausting and it makes us miserableIt drops our already low self-esteem to the bottom. We isolate ourselves because it’s our only coping mechanism and we’ve completely lost control over it.”

For those with APD, rejection and embarrassment is so incredibly painful that they actively choose loneliness and isolation to avoid this happening. Many people with APD desire to have close relationships and to engage in life’s activities, but lack the confidence and interpersonal skillsets to adequately do so. If you’ve been diagnosed with APD, your symptoms may be causing you much distress, but treatment is available.

Medication along with psychotherapy is certainly a great option. Although there is no one medication to be prescribed for this disorder, many doctors prescribe anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medication to help people feel more calm and relaxed. Psychotherapy gives individuals the chance to work one-on-one and in group settings to gain valuable skills regarding coping mechanisms, relapse prevention, mindfulness, social skills, and more. A 2016 study published in the International Journal of Psychology and Psychoanalysis stated that DBT, otherwise known as dialectical behavioral therapy, could be an excellent option for those with APD because it focuses on motivation behind change.

With DBT, clients work towards transformation negative thoughts into positive ones through the development of tools in mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal success. Since those with APD tend to over-control, DBT can help regulate that need by working with the client in reducing impulses and recognizing emotional responses that may be hindering recovery. In addition to DBT, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is another excellent way to help individuals work through unhelpful, negative thought patterns.

When we’ve had to live in fear of others, we become dependent upon our isolation to keep us safe. Life is about enriching relationships with ourselves and the world around us. Through specialized trauma treatment, we can find healing and relief and the ability to be close with others in a trusting way. Start your journey with The Guest House Ocala today by calling to learn more about our residential programs for trauma, addictions, related mental health issues, and more.