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Detailed descriptions of AvPD characteristics

September 25, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Excerpts from
Title: Interpersonal Diagnosis and Treatment of Personality Disorders
Author: Lorna Smith Benjamin – University of Utah.
Year: 1993.

In blue: my personal comments.
In red: the entries that correspond a lot to me.
stripped: does not apply at all to me.

A pervasive pattern of social discomfort and reticence, low self-esteem, and hypersensitivity to negative evaluation, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by at least four of the following:

1) avoid social or occupational activities that involve significant interpersonal contact because of fears of criticism, disapproval, or rejection.
Expects to be degraded and humiliated by people, and so he or she refuses any assignments that might involve increased interpersonal contact and the associated likelihood of mockery, or the possibility that someone might say, “I don’t want to deal with this (avoidant) person.
Sincerely, do you know a lot of person who do not fear to be criticized, disapproved or rejected? Personally, I don’t…well, I don’t know a lot of people, but that’s not an excuse.

2) is unwilling to get involved with people unless certain of being liked.
Assumes that people are going to be critical and disapproving until they can pass stringent tests proving the contrary. For example, in therapy, the AVD is withdrawn until it somehow becomes clear that the therapist can be trusted to be protective and nurturant. Expects to be rejected, and so he or she does not even try to join in group activities until and if there are repeated and generous offers of support and nurturance.
My mother said: “Oh YEAH!! That’s you!” lol
I don’t trust my therapists, I don’t trust any of these people, they are just doing their job; they don’t give a shit about me. I sincerely feel like they have no interest at all in my case. They are “oh, yeah? you’re here? Ah, okay…I have 2 minutes, if you want to talk to me..” All I do is to put myself in danger by giving them tools and weapons to pull me down forever. I take a bet. A risky bet. But if I wait to trust people before talking to them, I can wait for a long long time. It’s my personal battle; they do not help me. At all. It could sound strange to hear that but technically they do not help me at all; the only help is the medication – when it works. I am the One who has to do everything:  Open my eyes, stop bemoaning, act and be persistent and cheer me up. Moreover, according to what is written in the books I read, with people like me, therapists must be smooth and accept me otherwise I leave. So I can tell them everything and nothing – they will not dare to do anything to consciously and deliberately hurt me. Still, I do not trust them at all. I fear them

3) is reticent in social situations because of a fear of saying something inappropriate of foolish, or of being unable to answer a question.// Development of intimate relationships is inhibited (despite desire for them) owing to the fear of being foolish and ridiculed, or being exposed and shamed.
Keeps quiet and “invisible” in social situations because of the fear that any attention would be degrading or rejecting. Expects that no matter what he or she says, it will be seen as “wrong”, and so he or she says nothing.
Okay, so AvPD people must be the only people who do not appreciate to be shamed or ridiculed. Everybody else are fine with that. >.> … And I’m the one who’s supposed to suffer from a personality disorder. *shake head*

4) is easily hurt by criticism or disapproval (example 1, example 2) // preoccupation with being criticized or reject in social situations.
Expects to be humiliated and degraded, and so he or she has a markedly low threshold for detecting it. For example, if the caregiver is mildly annoyed, the AVD will note it, and feel very badly about himself or herself for doing whatever it was that might have preceded the annoyance. reacts strongly to subtle cues suggestive of mockery or derision (example). For example, if someone is slightly disapproving or rejecting, the AVD feels extremely hurt; if he or she loses the struggle for self-control, there is likely to be an out-burst of rage.
Oh, so true. Completely, totally, entirely, wholly, fully, absolutely me. I can’t say it better than that.

5) has no close friends or confidants (or only one) other than first-degree relatives // has few friends despite the desire to relate to others.
For varying reasons, throughout childhood there was interference with normal development of relations with peers, and that pattern continues in adulthood. There may be one very intimate friend, but that is the extend of social contact outside of the immediate family. Trusts only family members, or one or two intimate friends with whom there is a very intense, but not necessarily sexual, relationship.
I don’t have a single friend. and therefore, not a single close friend. I had one, years ago. I think that David was the closest friend I ever had. He was the closest friend I ever had. I miss him so much. Three weeks is not long enough; just enough to lure me before taking him right away from me forever. “Do you see, feel that? Well, you can’t have it”.
I don’t know how I did it; I don’t know what I did then to be so close to a person, so careless because I wasn’t different from now. No, actually, at that time, it was worse than now. But despite all this, it was Awesome. The best time of my life. Period. I’d give Anything to

6) fear being embarrassed by blushing, crying, or showing signs of anxiety in front of other people.// belief that one is socially inept, personally unappealing, or inferior to others.
Expects to be degraded or humiliated, and is very anxious about the possibility that he or she will react with blushing or crying. Expects to be mocked and seen as socially unacceptable.
I am socially inept, personally unappealing, and inferior to others. I don’t understand. Is it technically impossible in this world to be unappealing, inept or inferior tot others? There must be in this world people who are all this. Why, why on earth couldn’t I be one of them?! Why? Tell me why. Don’t get me wrong, it does not gladden me to be like it.

7) exaggerates the potential difficulties, physical dangers, or risks involved in doing something ordinary but outside his or heir usual routine, e.g., may cancel social plans because [he or] she anticipates being exhausted by the effort of getting there. // is unusually reluctant about taking personal risks or engaging in any new activities because they may prove embarrassing.
Is so afraid of social derogation that he or she can become sick with anxiety about an upcoming social event. Marginal somatic symptoms or other poorly documented problems can become the reason for avoiding the event. Full of a “ball of anger” about rejection and humiliation, the AVD constantly restrains the impulse to strike back with an angry attack. If the anger is unleashed, it is delivered with great indignation at and rejection of the offender (p.299-301).
I think that’s what I do with my archer. I’m “Oh oh..this one’s going to be tough tough tough…” and he finishes the battle without a scratch. -_-
:-) When I was seriously badly suffering from depression Jessica seized the opportunity to pull me down. It was so funny and so easy. I kept all my anger for myself otherwise for the first time in my life I would have come to blows. Seriously for the first time ever I wanted to punch somebody. Instead I left and several weeks later when I felt much better and ready to take my revenge, I did take my revenge. It felt so good. I wen to the office especially for her, just to piss her off. :-D  I learned from her: I can also be a bitch when I want to.

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