IntroductionPeople with avoidant personality disorder (APD) display a patternof behaviour which begins early during their teenage years, with some traitssuch as extreme anxiety, shyness, feelings of inadequacy andfear of being rejected. (Drago, Marogna & Sogaard, 2016). Nowadays, about 1to 2% of the world population suffer from APD (Sanislow, Bartolini &Zoloth, 2012). Those people tend to avoid social contact because they areafraid of criticisms and judgements from others. Moreover, the fear ofrejection makes them want to be lonely rather than have close relationships, inthe belief that they will be neglected due to their detached behaviours(Furnham, 2017). All of this has a negative impact on patient’s life and makesit difficult not only for them to interact with society but also forpsychologists and psychiatrists to deal with APD. This paper, with the aim ofraising people knowledge about APD, is conducted to provide information aboutthe symtoms, causes and treatments of this personality disorder. 2.
Discussion of findings2.1. Background information about APDAPD is one of the mental health conditions, which wascharacterized by great shyness, social inhibition, hypersensitivity to rejectionand feelings of inferiority (Ekern, 2013). This condition was classified asCluster C, a category for & fearful anxious disorders, and acknowledged inthe DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of MentalDisorders) in 1980, according to Furnham(2017) . He also stated that APD is equallycommon between two sexes and is estimated to affect from 0.5% to 1% of theworld population, althought DSM suggests that the figure was approximtely 2.
4 %,and from 10% to 20% of psychiatric outpatients.As reported by Ekern (2013), APD has four subtypes, as almost all people withthis disorder will show a mixture of symptoms. The four main subtypes of APDare Phobic (Being extremely affraid of certain situations or objects), Conflicted (confusion, being unable to settle worried feelings),Hypersensitive (greatly mistrustful, nervous and fearful), and Self-deserting.
Many people confuse APD with Social Phobia (SP), dueto a number of similarities. However, they are separate two diseases, and thedifferences between them are their different ways of treatment and APD islikely to develop better results during the early period of treatment (Draco et al., 2016). 2.2.
Symptoms of APDGluck (2014) stated that APD initial signs appear during earlyyears, but often seem to be normal until late adolescence. Nearly all childrenexpress some anxiety and shyness when interact with new people or situations;these behaviours seem to be normal, they only become a big trouble if continueduring adulthood. As reported by Goldberg (cited in WebMD, n.d.), APD individualshave a tendency to avoid speaking in social situations for fear of gettingembarrassed due to saying something wrong. They also avoid social activitiesbecause of their fear of being criticized or rejected, and this leads to thefeelings of uncomfortable, socially inept and inferior to others.Gluck (2014) also noted that some of APD symtoms can be visiblyseen in many circumstances, but there are also some symtoms happen inside theirexperiences which can not be spoted by naked eyes.
2.3. Causes of APDResearchers and scientists do not know exactly what are thereasons of APD, althought it is theorized by a number of experts that there aregenetic, social and psychological factors contribute to the this mentalproblem’s causes (Bressert, 2017). First of all, gene is a possible reason for this illness.
A studycarried out in Norway on teenagers indicated that the inheritability of APD isbetween 27% and 35%. Moreover, approximately 83% of these genes also have someconnections with other personality disorders (Lucida Treatment, 2014). Secondly, this disorder appears may be due to the impact of socialenvironment on people. Lucida Treatment (2014) stated that individuals who haveAPD do not learn appropriate skills to deal with social challenges from theirchildhood and adolescence. Consequently, they become shy and afraid of facingnew situation and have a possibility of having APD.According to Hageman,T. K., Francis, A.
J., Field, A. M. & Carr, S. N. (2015) in their research,there is a connection between APD patient’s childhood experiences anddevelopment of APD. A majority of people who suffer from APD have experience ofsexual abuse and emotional neglect from their own parents. As the result, this risk factor hurts these children mentally, andmakes them become potentialpatient of APD.
2.4. Treatments of APDTo deal with this issue, APD indivisualsneed to be cure accurately. Currently, there is no medicine fortreating APD (Draco et al., 2016).
The typical way to treat this mentalcondition is psychotherapy, according to Bressert(2017). However,this treatment has some challenges, such as the requirement of interaction betweentherapist and patient about personal things they are unwilling to talk about, whichcould hurt them a lot.Therefore, therapist need to build a trustful and therapeuticrelationship with patient in order to prevent them from leaving unfinishedtreatment.As reported by Bressert(2017), while some APD individuals canwithstand long-term psychotherapy,many people go to therapist only when they are stressful, which is a commonsymptom of this disorder. These shorter-term psychotherapy will only concentrateon the instant problems in patient’s life, provide them some new andappropriate coping skills to help. APD patient will cancel the treatment assoon as this mental health problem disappears.