How to Treat An Avoidant Personality Disorder

An avoidant personality disorder is a lesser-known mental health condition that affects one percent of the general population. People who deal with this disorder are often reluctant to participate in everyday life events, such as work, social, or school, due to an overwhelming fear of rejection or criticism. Feelings of inferiority support a person’s belief that they are socially inhibited, inadequate, and judged for not being as good as others. Living with this condition can cause a person to shut down for a great portion of their lives out of fear of socializing with others.

Signs of Having an Avoidant Personality Disorder

Some of the characteristics of avoidant personality disorder that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) include:

  • Avoids occupational activities that involve significant interpersonal contact
  • Exhibits restraint in intimate relationships
  • Requires a certainty that they will be liked before engaging with other people
  • Preoccupied with being criticized or rejected in social situations
  • Feels inadequate in new interpersonal situations 
  • Believes they are inferior, unappealing, and socially inept

Treatment Options for Avoidant Personality Disorder

A diagnosis for this disorder cannot be made on children because it is common for kids to be socially awkward, shy, and afraid of strangers. Adults who are diagnosed will likely require talk therapy as part of their treatment plan. Both cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy are commonly used therapeutic modalities for avoidant personality disorder. Group and family therapy can also prove helpful when combined with individual treatment. When a co-occurring mental illness is in places, such as depression or anxiety, medication may be an option. 

Living with an avoidant personality disorder can cripple a person’s life. They often try to avoid social, work, and personal relationships and activities out of fear that they are inadequate, unappealing, and rejected by everyone. This can lead to complete isolation from everyday events, depriving a person of the joys of friendships, work relationships, family interaction, and dating. Valiant Living has skilled professionals who understand avoidant personality disorder and how to treat it. We offer multiple options for treatment, including outpatient and residential, allowing our clients to find the best fit for them to address their mental health issues and any accompanying addiction diagnosis. Our men-only location in the Denver area allows you to heal in one of nature’s most beautiful regions. Call us today and let us chart a plan for treating your avoidant personality disorder and helping you move into the mainstream of life without anxiety and fear! Call us at (303) 952-5035.