Avoidant Personality Disorder

Personality disorders are mental health disorders that are defined by established and enduring patterns of behaviour and thinking that interfere with your ability to function and maintain healthy relationships, and in general, impact your life negatively.

There are 10 personality disorders that are divided into 3 clusters:

  • Cluster A: Odd or abnormal behaviour
  • Cluster B: Dramatic or emotional behaviour
  • Cluster C: Anxious or fearful behaviour

Avoidant personality disorder is categorized under Cluster C (anxious or fearful behaviour). Some professionals believe that it is related to social anxiety disorder due to the fear of social situations experienced by those diagnosed with this disorder. However, despite the related symptoms of the two disorders, avoidant personality disorder stands on its own because of its extreme nature.

Symptoms & signs of avoidant personality disorder include:

  • Low self-esteem that borders on self-loathing
  • Social isolation and loneliness, despite the longing for close relationships
  • Anxiety about, and avoidance of, social activities and settings
  • Avoidance of all physical contact
  • Hypersensitivity to the words and actions of others – feeling like others are constantly judging you negatively
  • Intense fear of rejection and humiliation
  • Agoraphobia (fear of public places)

When is it time to get help?

Personality disorders left untreated can negatively impact your life. The stress and anxiety that comes from trying to complete tasks that others take for granted, such as making a phone call or speaking up in a work meeting can be overwhelming. Navigating life with avoidant personality disorder can be exhausting. This makes it easier for you to simply stop trying to interact with others and to withdraw further – even though that is not possible and perhaps, not really what you want. If the symptoms of avoidant personality disorder are interfering with your ability to lead a fulfilling life, then it’s time to seek help.

Avoidant personality disorder treatment methods

There are many ways in which avoidant personality disorder can be treated. Your therapist will talk with you about your specific needs and individual circumstances because there are several forms of therapy that may be effective in treating avoidant personality and other anxiety disorders, including:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based approach to treatment that focuses on how people’s thoughts, emotions, and beliefs influence their behaviour and how they perceive themselves.
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is an approach that works to help the brain process information, memories, sounds, and feelings in a way that makes them be seen in a new and less distressing way.
  • Mindfulness therapy is an approach to treatment that focuses on how people’s thoughts, emotions, and beliefs influence their behaviour and how they perceive themselves, others, and the world. The ability to be in the moment, to acknowledge and regulate your emotions helps you to break free from negative thought patterns.
  • Behavioural therapy tends to view human beings and behaviour with the assumption that humans are a product of their sociocultural conditioning and environment, looking at the current problems and the factors influencing them and emphasizes behaviour changes more than the underlying unconscious processes.
  • Art therapy clients use their imagination to approach and explore their emotions, feelings, and thoughts. Especially useful in young people and people with developmental delays, when their motor skills exceed their verbal skills, they’ll get more out of art therapy than talk-only.
  • Emotionally focused therapy is based on observations and experience. It looks at emotions and emotional intelligence, which helps support stronger and more secure relationships by helping better understand how our actions impact others, and how our emotions drive our interaction.

To choose the right combination of treatments, an assessment will first be done, and together with your therapist, you’ll find the treatment method that best suits your unique personality and circumstances.

What will I get out of treatment with Insight Psychological?

We can support you as you learn strategies to manage your anxiety. We can work with you to reduce the stress that you feel as a result of personal interactions. We can work with you to help you to manage your symptoms and to open up your life to possibilities of relationships with others. Insight Psychological can offer support. We have several convenient locations in Edmonton, Calgary, and central Alberta. Call us today.

 

 

Brooke Hendricks

Edmonton South, Online

Adults, Assessments

Loriann Quinlan

Edmonton South, Edmonton West, Online

Adults, Seniors

Terri Mulveney

Edmonton South, Online

Adults, Children (3-5), Children & Youth (6-12), Adolescents (13-17), LGBTQ community

Brandi Enns

Edmonton South, Online

Adults, Families, Couples, LGBTQ community, Sexuality, Assessments

Sabrina Brady

Edmonton Central, Edmonton North, Online

Adults, Adolescents (13-17), Seniors, Couples, LGBTQ community, Sexuality, Assessments

Karla Buchholz

Edmonton South, Online

Adults, Adolescents (13-17), Seniors, Families, Couples, LGBTQ community, Sexuality

Nikesha Deenoo

Edmonton South, Online

Adults, Adolescents (13-17), Seniors, Sexuality

Nicole Donovan

Edmonton South, Online, Sherwood Park

Adults, Children & Youth (6-12), Adolescents (13-17)

Kathryn Maier

Edmonton North, Online

Adults, Children (3-5), Children & Youth (6-12), Adolescents (13-17), Families, Assessments

Cody Cobler

Edmonton North, Online, Sherwood Park

Adults, Children & Youth (6-12), Adolescents (13-17), Families, LGBTQ community

Dawn Doucet Banting

Edmonton South, Online

Adults, Children (3-5), Children & Youth (6-12), Adolescents (13-17), Seniors, Families, Couples, LGBTQ community

Meghan Odsen

Edmonton South, Online

Adults, Adolescents (13-17), Seniors, Families, Couples, LGBTQ community, Sexuality, Assessments

Chantelle Owen

Edmonton Central, Online, Edmonton West

Adults, Adolescents (13-17), Families, Couples, LGBTQ community, Sexuality

Luke Suelzle

Edmonton South, Online, Edmonton Central

Adults, Adolescents (13-17), Families, Couples, Sexuality

Kim Phua

Edmonton North, Online

Adults, Adolescents (13-17), Seniors, Families, Couples, LGBTQ community, Sexuality, Assessments

Brilene Wohlgemuth

Edmonton South, Sherwood Park, Online

Adults, Children & Youth (6-12), Adolescents (13-17), Families, LGBTQ community, Assessments

Dr. Hendriatta Wong

Corporate Services

Shirley Leonard

Corporate Services

Tara-Lee Goerlitz

Corporate Services

Trina Wilson Orieux

Corporate Services

Adults

Leah Cadieux

Perinatal Services

Adults

Tracey Howell

Perinatal Services

Adults

Sonya Duffee

Perinatal Services

Adults, Families

Julia Braga

Perinatal Services

Jennine Fayad

Perinatal Services

At this time, Insight Psychological does not have therapists who specialize in this specific area, but that doesn’t mean we can’t help you! Please contact us to talk with our Intake Personnel to find a therapist that is a good fit for you and your unique circumstances.