Anonymous asked this question on 4/29/2000:
Could anyone give me as much information as possible on avoidant personality disorder and it's symptoms and treatment please? Thanks
jillyk gave this response on 4/29/2000:
People with avoidant personality disorder have feelings of inadequacy in social situations sufficiently severe to inhibit chosed activities, and fear of the negative judgment of others. Consequently, despite intense desire for approval, they have very limited social relationships and work in situations which are not likely to entail unpredictable social exchanges . an for fear that they might say or do something 'inappropriate'. Such people are often exquisitely aware of their own limitations but are too anxious to advance beyond them. Depression, self-denigration and anxiety are common. Phobias may develop and Social Phobia is a frequent complication. Most clinicians agree that psychotherapy id the main treatment but skilled use of medication along with this approach may be appropriate. Especially with regards to the management of borderline personality disorder; no single medication has appeared to be advantageous. The main principle in drug mangement is that drugs are used for symptom relief rather than the improvement of the personality disorder itself. Example, patients with borderline personailty disorder may decompernsate after a major loss and present with psychotic syptoms. In this instance low dose antipsychotic medication may be a useful adjunct to pschotherapy. Similarly people with avoidant or dependent personality disorders may become anxious or depressed following a crisis, and anxiolytic or antidepressant drugs may be needed. There are a few important issues to consider: *Drug treatment should not be offered as a cure. It should be clarified that drug treatment is adjunctive to psychotherapy, or a temporary for an associated to allow planning of the drug treatment. *Given the adjunctive nature of the drug treatment, their benefits must be weighed up against side-effects, such as tardive dyskinesia and therefore should always be used in low doses and sparingly if there is no clear benefit. *Drugs should be introduced as a signle variable into treatment and polypharmacy (multi-drug use) avoided.
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