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A couple of questions about avoidant pesonality disorder.


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I signed up here a few days ago so other than saying hello this will be my first post. I believe I have avoidant personality disorder and sometimes it affects my life negatively. However, for the most part I like the way I am and don't want to drastically change myself.

The main problem I have with it at the moment is that my very low self esteem kept me from getting promoted at work. I was simply too afraid to ask for it. I knew that hearing no wouldn't be the end of the world, but I just couldn't do it.

Another problem I have is that I dislocated my knee about four years ago and I still baby my injury by wearing a knee brace. I went though the physical therapy to fix it and was told I no longer had to wear the brace. I feel like I still wear it because I lack the confidence to make it better. I'm so afraid to hurt myself again.

I know that these problems might not seem like a big deal, but I'm worried that if I don't get help for this disorder that more problems will continue to come up. I don't want this to haunt me for my whole life. I'm 21 years old right now.

What I've been getting some far from reading up on this site is that a need to change my behavior by talking to people more, making eye contact, etc. I really don't see how that will help fix my problems with self esteem. For the most part I hate everybody I've ever met and don't want to fit into society.

So here are my questions! Is it possible to fix my low self esteem without changing who I am? Is there anybody else on here that's lived with avoidant personality disorder there whole life that can tell me if it progressively gets worse? If this is as bad as it gets I think I can handle that. I just want to get some help now if I'll end up being a shut in because of this.

Thanks for taking the time to read this! :)

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As much as i don't have any answers for you,

i just wanted to say hi seeings no one has replied yet :)

I do believe it is possible to change your self esteem without changing who you are. Some self help ways are exercise and to eat healthy and to do things you like, i personally never found that worked but it does for some. Another is to go and see a counselor, there are ones for free if you can't afford one, just go see your local doctor and get them to recommended you to a free counselor that is founded by the government, sometimes even work groups have them depending how big the company you're working for is.

Hope someone can give you better advice, and i hope you get it worked out :)

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Carlberry19,

I agree that you can improve your self esteem without changing your personality. In fact, I want to assure you that your personality is fairly fixed and was by the time you were five or six years old, and that is true for all of us. We can grow, learn, improve but we are who we are in essence. So, fear not.

I strongly recommend that you enter psychotherapy with a cognitive behavioral psychologist and you will begin learning and applying ways to interact with people with less pain and discomfort.

You do need a professional to help you with this and that is why I am urging you to see a therapist.

Allan :)

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Hi Carlberry19. Welcome.

I also have lived with avoidant personality disorder my entire life. Not so much because I didn't like people but more because I was always afraid of people. As far as it getting worse, I'm not sure, maybe it will maybe it won't. I do know it's not very likely that it will get better and go away on it's own. For me I found that I couldn't fix my problem. I tried self help books, I tried making myself be more outgoing. It almost always left me feeling more frustrated. For me it was like putting a small bandage on a huge wound. it wasn't working.

When I finally decided to ask for help and went to see a therapist for the first time in my life it was one of the scariest things I've ever done. When you spend your life avoiding people and trying to shut yourself off from others it's hard to reach out and ask for help. But I agree with ASchwartz sometimes you have to realize that the problem is bigger then you can handle yourself. I believe therapy will help you find the answers your looking for and teach you ways to grow without changing who you are.

Also hope you find encouragement and support here.

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Thanks for the advise guys. I still am not sure if I will seek help or not. I'm giving it some more thought. I'm slowly realizing that I can't fix this by myself, but at the same time I also doubt that anybody would be able to help me. I guess that my self-defeating attitude isn't helping either. :confused: Well I'll try to keep sticking around and maybe putting in my two cents every once in a while.

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  • 1 month later...

i was diagnosed with AvPD. however, saying that, my behaviour and feelings have changed a lot since that dianosis was made, i'm far less afraid of people than i used to be. i feel my true personality is emerging through the many inhibitions i learned early on in my life.

i beleive that who we are is something that is constantly changing as we accumulate experiences. our brain is a model making machine that is flawed, it doens't model the world around us perfectly but does it well enough, for us to survive and reproduce, thats evolution for you. we are not the best lifeform that could have evolved but we're here to think about it so the models our brain makes for us is passable. as we live in an enviroment that is increasingly unrepresentative of that which our brains evolved into, the more those imperfections of modelling become apparent. but thats always been the case since we were pond scum, as the theory goes.

my personality is my choice, albeit, many little choices that accumulate over the years. and personality is something that continues to be built apon throughout our entire lives, not just the 'formative/nuclear years'.

when i walk through my home city i walk passed some roman ruins. they are far beneath the current level of pavements and buildings. foundations do not inherently affect everything that comes after. just because those roman ruins are there does not mean you can't build a structure that reflects modern day needs. the lump of fat we call the brain inside that bubble of bone we call the cranium, is far more plastic amd maleable than many experts realised.

decide your own limits for any moment in your life. let the future come and face it with an open mind ... the mind we had when we were kids. remember ?

Edited by silentmist
poor grammer ... and it's still bad lol
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