St. Luke's Hospital
Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
America's 50 Best Hospitals
Meet the Doctor
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment
Home > Health Information

Multimedia Encyclopedia

    Print-Friendly
    Bookmarks

    Avoidant personality disorder

    Personality disorder - avoidant

    Avoidant personality disorder is a mental health condition in which a person has a lifelong pattern of feeling very shy, inadequate, and sensitive to rejection.

    Causes

    Cause of avoidant personality disorder is unknown. Genes or a physical illness that changed the person's appearance may play a role.About 1% of the population has avoidant personality disorder.

    Symptoms

    People withthis disorder cannot stop thinking about their own shortcomings. They form relationships with other people only if they believe they will not be rejected. Loss and rejection are so painful that these people choose to be lonely rather than risk trying to connect with others.

    A person with avoidant personality disorder may:

    • Be easily hurt when people criticize or disapprove of them
    • Hold back too much inintimate relationships
    • Be reluctant to become involved with people
    • Avoid activities or jobs that involve contact with others
    • Be shy in social situations out of fear of doing something wrong
    • Make potential difficulties seem worse than they are
    • Hold the view they are not good socially, not as good as other people, or unappealing

    Exams and Tests

    Avoidant personality disorder is diagnosed based on a psychological evaluation that assesses the history and severity of the symptoms.

    Treatment

    Talk therapy is considered to be the most effective treatment for this condition. It helps persons with this disorder be less sensitive to rejection. Antidepressant drugs may be used in addition.

    Outlook (Prognosis)

    People with this disorder may develop some ability to relate to others. With treatment this can be improved.

    Possible Complications

    Without treatment, a person with avoidant personality disorder maylead a life of near or total isolation. They may go on to develop a secondmental healthdisorder such as substance abuse or a mood disorder such as depression.

    When to Contact a Medical Professional

    See your health care provider or a mental health professional if shyness or fear of rejection overwhelms your ability to function in life and have relationships.

    References

    Blais MA, Smallwood P, Groves JE, Rivas-Vazquez RA. Personality and personality disorders. In: Stern TA, Rosenbaum JF, Fava M, Biederman J, Rauch SL, eds. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. 1st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2008;chap 39.

    BACK TO TOP

          A Closer Look

            Self Care

              Review Date: 11/17/2012

              Reviewed By: Timothy Rogge, MD, Medical Director, Family Medical Psychiatry Center, Kirkland, WA. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

              The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
              adam.com

              A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Fire Fox and chrome browser.


              Back  |  Top
              About Us
              Contact Us
              History
              Mission
              Locations & Directions
              Quality Reports
              Annual Reports
              Honors & Awards
              Community Health Needs
              Assessment

              Newsroom
              Services
              Brain & Spine
              Cancer
              Heart
              Maternity
              Orthopedics
              Pulmonary
              Sleep Medicine
              Urgent Care
              Women's Services
              All Services
              Patients & Visitors
              Locations & Directions
              Find a Physician
              Tour St. Luke's
              Patient & Visitor Information
              Contact Us
              Payment Options
              Financial Assistance
              Send a Card
              Mammogram Appointments
              Health Tools
              My Personal Health
              mystlukes
              Spirit of Women
              Health Information & Tools
              Clinical Trials
              Health Risk Assessments
              Employer Programs -
              Passport to Wellness

              Classes & Events
              Classes & Events
              Spirit of Women
              Donate & Volunteer
              Giving Opportunities
              Volunteer
              Physicians & Employees
              For Physicians
              Remote Access
              Medical Residency Information
              Pharmacy Residency Information
              Physician CPOE Training
              Careers
              Careers
              St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
              Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Patient Notice of Privacy Policies PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile