Specialist treatment for avoidant personality disorder
We know that it can feel isolating when you have avoidant personality disorder. Daily life is difficult when you struggle with public-facing situations, or even seeing people you know.
If you have deep fears around socialising, this leaves you vulnerable to the actions of others, which can further damage your confidence if you feel hurt by their words or behaviour. Friends, colleagues or even family members may say or do something they feel is harmless, but your condition may cause you to perceive it as a personal attack.
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Similarly, you may say or do something in the moment that you then feel embarrassed by and obsess over afterwards. Your interpretation of these situations can leave you feeling like no-one will want to spend time with you and may scare you off from seeing people at all.
Your challenges with getting close to anyone can stop you from forming meaningful relationships, which may mean you lack much-needed support. At Priory, we want to give you that support and restore your self-esteem, so that you feel confident enough to enjoy people’s company and function in everyday life.
Our experts can help you take steps to reduce your symptoms of avoidant personality disorder, working with you to address your deep-seated insecurities. Many people we’ve treated at Priory have been in a similar situation to you, and we’ve helped them move on to a happier existence.
Signs that you may need treatment with Priory
It’s important to know the signs to look out for with any mental health condition. A key characteristic of avoidant personality disorder, also known as anxious personality disorder, is avoiding situations where you have to spend time with other people.
You may find that you constantly worry about being ridiculed or rejected, and are overly sensitive to criticism or disapproval. Avoidant personality disorder may also make you feel as though you are inferior to others, which can prevent you from forming and maintaining relationships.
Symptoms of Avoidant Personality Disorder
Some of the most common symptoms of avoidant personality disorder include:
- Avoiding social situations or contact with other people
- Having an obsession and overwhelming fear of being criticised, rejected or ridiculed
- Feelings of inferiority, which cause you to be quiet, shy and inhibited in social situations
- Worrying that you may cry, blush or do something wrong in social situations
- Being unwilling to try new things for fear of being embarrassed in front of others
- Finding it difficult to make friends
If you leave any personality disorder untreated, your mental health can deteriorate and lead to serious long-term complications. You may start to suffer co-occurring conditions such as depression and anxiety, due to your worsening self-image and the pain of leading a lonely existence, which leaves you cut off from the world.
High-quality treatment, whatever your situation
It’s never too late to reach out for help, and the sooner you get professional support, the sooner you can start reversing the impact of your past challenges. It’s crucial that you don’t blame yourself, as none of what you’re going through is your fault. Many people who seek our support have similar challenges to your own, so you already have a lot in common with people in our community, which means you aren’t actually as alone as you may feel. You share with them the same newfound commitment to your mental health, which will be one of the best decisions you ever make.
All you need to do is continue on your journey with us and we’ll guide you through a structured programme tailored to your needs, within NICE-approved guidelines. By undertaking treatment for avoidant personality disorder, you can lessen the strain of everyday interactions and lead a rewarding life enhanced by profound connections with others.
The fact that you’ve acknowledged your need for help means you’ve already reached an important stage in working towards a better future, which you should be proud of. Treatment can help you to make a significant move towards living the life you’ve dreamed of. Sharing what you are going through will reduce the burden you feel and empower you as you move into your next chapter. Our experts will carry out an initial assessment to determine your needs and understand your specific personal goals. They’ll then be able to recommend how you can proceed with addressing your symptoms.
Types of avoidant personality disorder treatment programmes at Priory
Depending on the level of support you require, your recommended treatment may be in one of three formats:
- Inpatient treatment – this is a residential programme that usually takes place in one of our hospitals, where you can benefit from 24-hour support.
- Outpatient treatment – you will attend weekly therapy at a hospital or wellbeing centre, in hour-long sessions. You can also carry out appointments online with Priory Connect.
- Day care – this provides structured support while you live at home, with half-day or full-day sessions each week. This can be useful for those who’ve already had inpatient treatment.
Behavioural therapies are generally most effective in treating avoidant personality disorder, as they address the way you behave in relation to how you think and feel. Priory offer the following types of therapeutic treatment for avoidant personality disorder:
- Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) – DBT gets to the heart of your emotions and teaches you to accept any difficult feelings. This allows you to challenge how overwhelming your emotions feel, by understanding why you feel this way.
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – CBT helps you to address negative thought patterns, to stop the cycle which leads to them impacting your feelings and behaviours. You’ll be taught practical skills to adopt more productive ways of processing everything.
Medication may also be prescribed if you are experiencing any co-existing mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety. Your recommended course of treatment will be advised after your initial consultation.