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Avoidant personality disorder (AVPD) is a common disorder that is marked by feelings of fear and nervousness. The prevalence of avoidant personality disorder is estimated to be around 1.5% to 2.5%  . It is reported that women are at a higher risk of avoidant personality disorder  .
People with this disorder start avoiding people socially due to fear of rejection or disapproval and this leads to poor self-esteem.
What Causes Avoidant Personality Disorder 
The exact causes of this disorder are unknown. However, it is believed that environmental, genetic, social, and psychological factors cause avoidant personality disorder.
Symptoms Of Avoidant Personality Disorder
- Low self-esteem
- Social inhibition
- Feelings of inadequacy
- Anxiety in social situations
- Extreme self-consciousness
- Lack of trust
- Avoiding intimate relationships
- Avoiding making decisions 
- Feared of getting rejected
- Thinking of oneself as inferior 
Who Is At Risk Of Avoidant Personality Disorder? 
It is most likely to develop in the infant and childhood stages and continue to adulthood. Usually, the disorder isn't diagnosed in people younger than 18 years of age. The shyness and avoidance develop as the child grows older.
What Is The Social Impact Of Avoidant Personality Disorder?
People with this disorder find it difficult to connect with other people and seek friendships. If the person is involved in a relationship, he or she may be afraid to share their personal feelings and this largely affects their close relationships  .
At work, people may find it difficult to talk to colleagues and this can hamper his or her work.
Diagnosis Of Avoidant Personality Disorder 
As per the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), a person diagnosed with avoidant personality disorders should at least have four of the following criteria:
- Avoidance of occupational activities that involve social contact due to fear of criticism or rejection.
- Thinking that you are inferior to others
- Unwilling to get close to other people unless you are sure they like you
- Holding back in intimate relationships
- Hesitating to do new things out of fear or embarrassment
- Inhibition in new interpersonal situations because of feelings of inadequacy.
Treatment Of Avoidant Personality Disorder
The FDA hasn't approved any medicines to treat avoidant personality disorder. However, the doctor may prescribe anti-depressant medications to treat depression and anxiety symptoms associated with avoidant personality disorder.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy 
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a form of talk therapy, where a therapist assists you in recognizing unhelpful thinking. The therapist helps to change your thought process and aids in developing alternative, healthier thoughts.
Psychodynamic therapy 
It is another form of talk therapy that helps you become aware of your unconscious thoughts and it lets you understand how past experiences influence your current behaviour. As a result, it allows you to resolve past emotional pain so that you can move forward.
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