Avoidant Personality Disorder WK 5 Disc - Discussion Chapter

Excerpt from Discussion Chapter :

Avoidant Personality Disorder



Personality disorder: Avoidant personality disorder

According to the DSM, an avoidant personality (Axis II) is characterized by extreme anxiety and an aversion to engaging in social activities due to an overly sensitized fear of rejection. The avoidant nature of this type's personality means he or she has trouble functioning normally both in work and personal contexts. For example, an avoidant personality "avoids occupational activities that involve significant interpersonal contact, because of fears of criticism, disapproval, or rejection" (Avoidant personality disorder, 2013, Mental Health). An avoidant personality may work at an occupation significantly beneath his or her level of intelligence and education, simply to avoid dealing with people.

On a personal level, the avoidant personality is extremely hyper-sensitive. This personality type avoids new situations, for fear of being rejected and minimizes social content because of acute self-consciousness. He or she may only have a few friends or family members with whom he or she is intimate. This social isolation compounds the feelings of stress and anxiety the person feels on a daily basis. "The core features of this disorder are: (1) negative emotion (anxiousness (fear of rejection/embarrassment)), and (2) detachment (withdrawal, intimacy avoidance, and anhedonia [decreased ability to feel pleasure])" (Avoidant personality disorder, 2013, Mental Health).

In a forensic context, someone with severe social anxiety lacks the ability to find resources to support him or herself in times of need. Someone with an avoidant personality is unable to seek out support during a job loss or a period of depression. The end result of such estrangement from society could be violence against the self or others. Personality disorders such as avoidant personality disorder are…

Sources Used in Document:


Avoidant personality disorder. (2013). Mental Health. Retrieved:

Rettew, D. (2006).Avoidant personality disorder. Psychiatric Times, XXIII (8).

Retrieved: http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/articles/avoidant-personality-disorder-boundaries-diagnosis

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