Home Educational Avoidant Personality. Why we develop a fear of socialization – Part 2 (end).

Avoidant Personality. Why we develop a fear of socialization – Part 2 (end).

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There are social, biological, and psychological, causes for APD. Like many disorders that manifest themselves when we become older (teenage and into/through adulthood), APD can stem from childhood experiences and the biases we create about those experiences. Most of these are usually some type of PTSD from a very bad peer rejection or rejection from parents or a continual rejection of some type. Perhaps an embarassing moment that never quite left our mind. Below, I would like to explain the story of a former college classmate of mine that was dealing with APD, the name will be changed to protect my friend. 


There was once a classmate of mine, at a community college I went to that had a small crush on me. We will call her name “Dorothy”. She was decently outgoing around certain people but not in situations that required great social skills, such as dating and group outings. Somehow, I was able to convince Dorothy to come on a “date” with me to my home so we could talk (yes, just talk, don’t get the wrong idea). Dorothy was visibly uncomfortable, sitting on the very edge of the couch she had to herself, almost with her back turned to me. Sensing this, I quickly ended this chat and took us back to the college. This stuck with me ever since. I was puzzled, and fascinated, by the fact that someone could be so intimidated by a social situation that their entire demeanor would change and take a nose-dive. What brought on this social fear in Dorothy? Was it the fact that she was slightly overweight? Did she have a past of being put down? Did she not like being around men in one-to-one environments? Is their a possible rape or something else traumatic in her past? There are too many questions to answer about a person who has true Avoidant Personality.

The DSM V has APD as a definable, and it refers to a widespread pattern of inhibition around people, feeling inadequate and being very sensitive to negative evaluation. Symptoms begin by early adulthood and occur in a range of situations. Some people have avoidant sydroms in certain situations but not in others. This leads professionals to believe that perhaps it can be controlled by the person. With all personality disorders, getting to the root of the problem, NOT THE VISIBLE BEHAVIOR of the problem, is what is going to promote change. APD can be turned around, if the PTSD that brought it on is dealt with properly.


Eric W. Spradlin

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