Signs of avoidant personality disorder are well researched. This psychological disorder is often diagnosed by its unique characteristics that include the patient’s systematic avoidance and deliberate isolation from all social contact in all social situations. While social avoidance is the top symptom that helps in avoidant personality disorder diagnosis, other avoidant personality disorder symptoms that make avoidant personality disorder prognosis possible include:
1. Fear of intimacy and social involvement
The primary avoidant personality disorder symptom is a patient’s unexplained and irrational fear of interacting with even close friends and members of the family. Patients afflicted with this psychological disorder completely avoid intimate involvement.
2. Fear of embarrassment
A very prominent avoidant personality disorder symptom is a patient’s fear that establishing social contact might cause embarrassment and may eventually result in anxiety. Patients are afraid of ridicule, rejection, criticism, and hypothetical insult. Over a period of time, avoidant personality disorder causes complete and permanent social isolation if left untreated. The patients stay in their own cocoon and refuse to communicate with others. This is their way of ensuring self-protection against anxiety. This symptom is the main reason why such patients are usually not involved in any job that requires interaction and interpersonal contact.
One of the factors in avoidant personality disorder misdiagnosis is the consideration of loneliness as a symptom. However, the reason patients prefer being alone is because it ensures minimal social interaction. Though a permanent lack of contact happens in only extreme cases, one of the top five signs of avoidant personality disorder is shorter and less frequent periods of time spent with loved ones. Prolonged periods of exposure result in anxiety and fear.
4. Associated phobias
Avoidant personality disorder prognosis may occur in association with other kinds of phobias. As the mind is constantly in a state of anxiety and confusion, patients develop at least one phobia - either toward inanimate objects or toward animals and people. Even brief contact with such objects, organisms, or individuals can trigger phobia and phobic characteristics.
5. Low self-esteem
Since a lot of patients afflicted with avoidant personality disorder stay away from family and friends and all social interactions due to minimal interaction with people and constantly living alone, they tend to develop problems associated with their levels of self-confidence and self-esteem. Low levels of self-esteem are another top symptom of this problem. Due to the reactions caused by their response to any anxiety-provoking stimuli and subsequent fear, they lose interest and confidence and usually tend to remain in low spirits.
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