Home > avoidant, book, family, social anxiety > Worst thing of the past two months

Worst thing of the past two months

Listening to the Overcoming Social Anxiety mp3s, I understood that thinking about negative things is no good at all and should be avoided. By “negative things” they mean: to try to know what is at the source of our problem; to say: “Why me?!”; to rub it in in any way. Therefore I knew that reading this book about AvPD wouldn’t be a good idea. Actually, it is the exact opposite of what I am supposed to do to feel better. Of course, this book brought back bad memories, reminded me of bla bla bla..even added some new stuffs that weren’t mentioned in the previous texts I found on AvPD. I knew I was doing wrong. So I decided to do it fast and I read the whole chapter at one go; this way I won’t have to read things I shouldn’t read. I did it. I’m done with the book. I’ll give it back. Actually, I am not anymore exactly the person I was five months ago, I have improved. A little but I have improved. The book presents just how I was, before. Oh and, if I had a doubt I am now sure at 1000% that I have AvPD.

Here are some excerpts:
“If I withdraw, nothing can hurt me”.

“We may say with some certainty, however, that the deep inadequacy of some avoidant personalities may have a basis in physical maturation. Slow or uneven physical development can elicit teasing from peers that compounds a deep sense of awkwardness or inferiority; children who are already somewhat self-conscious for other reasons, might then become even more so, eventuation in an avoidant pattern.” (p.199) –> we already came to this conclusion in my case.

“Additionally, ego analysts describe avoidants as markedly indulgent in fantasy and imagination, both as a means of replacing anxiety-arousing cognitions or inadequacy and low self-worth and as a means of gratifying needs that cannot be met due to social withdrawal but may be explored in an isolated fashion.” (p.202) –> I’ve been doing this since high-school, at least. Do imaginary friends when you are a kid count? Oh wait. I didn’t have an imaginary friend. lol

“Avoidants do not confront this interpersonal anxiety. Instead, they escape social encounters whenever possible as a means of saving themselves from “inevitable” negative judgments. Any event that requires communication with others constitutes a potential threat to their fragile security. They may even deny themselves simple possessions to protect against the pain of loss or disappointment.  The only course they know to reduce shame and humiliation is to back away, withdraw within themselves, and keep a watchful eye on any incursion into their solitude. Distance guarantees safety, but trust invites pain.” (p. 204) –> I have nothing else to add. There’s nothing new.

“In general, avoidants’ protective shell of isolation serves only to perpetuate their problems. First, by narrowing their range of interpersonal experiences, they preclude the possibility of learning new ways of behaving that might bring them greater self-confidence or a sense of personal worth. In the most severe cases, they are left completely alone with their own turmoil and conflict. Second, like dependent personalities, their apparent weakness and self-doubt does occasionally attract those who enjoy shaming and ridiculing people who cannot defend themselves. The additional humiliation they experience thereby works to confirm their mistrust of others and causes them to place faith in a very few.” (p.205) –> One more reason to avoid people.

“The hypothesis that every source of stimulation is harmful is sustained because  the consequences of uncertainty, of letting even one threat go unnoticed, are simply too great. As a a result, anxiety increases, sensitivity to cues of threat increase, and depth of processing suffers further. eventually, the entire cognitive processing system becomes so overburdened that everything is threatening, and the avoidant must withdraw to a safe haven, where the sources of stimulation (e.g., a few trusted friends) are known to be safe.” (p.207)

” Avoidants are highly vulnerable to feelings of depression. Though avoidants seek to insulate themselves from the fears and pains of interpersonal encounters, most are only partially successful. Moreover, isolation is bittersweet and conflict arousing, as avoidants continue to desire a successful and confident existence, intimate companionship, and freedom from self-contempt. The ideal self continues to seek expression, and critical internal voices continue to carp. Accordingly, most avoidants continue to feel unloved, alone, and ineffective. these feelings may be displayed either through full-blown depressive episodes or quietly endured periods of despondency and futility” (p.216) –> no kidding!?!

Personality Disorders in Modern Life by Theodore Millon, S. Grossman, C. Millon, S. Meaghaer, R. Ramnath – Wiley eds. Second edition.

I wish my parents read stuffs about AvPD and understood what it means and implies to have AvPD because I simply cannot tell them. I can’t.

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