People with avoidant personality disorder (APD) display a
pattern of behaviour which begins early during their teenage years, with some
characteristics such as extreme anxiety, shyness, feelings of insufficiency and
fear of being rejected. (Drago, Marogna & Sogaard, 2016). Nowadays, about
1–2% of the world population suffer from APD (Sanislow, Bartolini & Zoloth,
2012). Those people tend to avoid social contact because they are afraid of
criticisms and judgements from others. Moreover, the fear of rejection makes
them want to be lonely rather than have relationships, except with some people
who are close to them, in the belief that they will not be rejected (Gluck,
2016). All of this has a negative impact on patients’ life and makes it
difficult not only for them to interact with society but also for psychologists
and psychiatrists to deal with this serious problem. This paper, with the aim
of raising people knowledge about APD, is conducted to provide information
about the symtoms, causes and treatments of APD.
2. Discussion of
information about APD
2.2. Symtoms of APD
Gluck (2014) stated that APD initial signs appear during
early years, but often seem to be normal until late adolescence. Nearly all
children express some anxiety and shyness when interact with new people or
situations; these behaviours do not mean that they will develop APD, unless
they continue during adulthood and become a big trouble.
As reported by Goldberg (cited in Webmb, n.d.), individual
who has APD has a tendency to avoid speaking up in social situations for fear
of getting embarrassed due to saying something wrong.
According to Bressert (2017), people who experience APD avoid
work-related activites that require social interaction due to their fear of
being criticized or neglected.
Those people are reluctant to be related to others unless
surely being liked.
2.3. Causes of APD
Researcher and scientists do not know exactly what are the
reasons of avoidant personality disorder, althought it is theorized by a number
of experts that there are genetic, social and psychological factors contribute
to the this mental problem’s causes (Bressert, 2017). First of all, gene is
possibly a reason for this illness. A study conducted in Norway on teenagers
indicated that the inheritability of APD is between 27% and 35%. Moreover,
approximately 83% of these genes also have some connections with other
personality disorders (Lucida Treatment, 2014). Secondly, this disorder appears
may be due to the impact of social environment on people. Lucida Treatment
(2014) states that APD individuals do not learn appropriate coping skills to
deal with social challenges from their childhood and adolescence. Consequently,
they become shy and afraid of facing new situation and have a possibility of
As reported by Gluck (2016), many APD patients have sorrowful
experiences when they were a child, which involve in ruthless criticism and
neglect from their parents.