Avoidant Coyote
hello. i was diagnosed with social phobia when i was 17. i'm now 21 and have been obsessed with avpd and feel that i may have it. what do you think is the difference between the two? thanks so much

They overlap a lot tbh. 

"Based on the definition in DSM IV-TR, the main characteristic of Avoidant Personality Disorder is to think of oneself as inadequate, flawed and inferior to others. People with APD tend to believe others don’t like them and are afraid that others will criticize or ridicule them. This fear of disapproval, rejection, and criticism often causes people with Avoidant Personality Disorder to stay away from social interactions, and to avoid work or school activities that involve getting into contact with other people. This frequently results in missing out on social and professional networking opportunities, and leads people with APD to have a rather small social circle in which they only interact with people of whom they are sure that they are liked. People with APD are extremely sensitive to rejection and criticism and they usually don’t like trying out new activities that might put them at risk of being embarrassed or ridiculed.

Social Phobia can look very similar to Avoidant Personality Disorder.  Social Phobia has to do with being extremely anxious in social situations. Examples would be fear of public speaking, or fear of eating, drinking or writing in from of other people. It could be fear of addressing authority figures, fear of attending parties, or fear of initiating conversations.  The fear is mostly about being embarrassed, or of others recognizing that they are anxious.  When a person with social phobia finds themselves in their feared situation, they develop intense anxiety with some really strong physical symptoms, such as intense heartbeat, breaking out in a sweat, or hands shaking and shortness of breath.  Taken to an extreme, these physical symptoms of anxiety can develop into a full-blown panic attack.”

A lot of people who meet the qualifications for one will meet it for the other. There seems to be a high comorbidity rate with social phobic and AvPD. 

"If you look at the definitions of these two conditions given in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, the overlap between the two conditions makes sense:  The definition of Social Phobia focuses on performance situations, but it includes difficulty with dating and friendships. These latter difficulties are a core feature of Avoidant Personality Disorder. It is not surprising, then, that there would be significant overlap between two conditions that are defined in similar ways.  This is the reason that some expert believe that the two disorders reflect the same underlying problem, with Avoidant Personality Disorder merely constituting a more severe and persistent form of Social Phobia."

The quoted text is from here.

So, I guess social phobia focuses more on performance situations, like activities that involve doing things in front of others. And AvPD is more internal things, like fear of rejection, disapproval, and criticism.

How are you all? You doing okay?

What you’re really saying when you’re against self diagnosis:


1. Everyone should be assumed neurotypical and should be forced to act neurotypical, until proven otherwise.

2. Everyone who has been unable to get diagnosed for any reason should suffer in silence.

Im 15 & after months of research i think i am most definetly avoidant-dependent & idk what the do. Theres no way i could go get help from anyone

I’m sorry you can’t get help right now. But you can’t be diagnosed with a personality disorder until you’re 18 anyway. So all you can really do is bide your time until you CAN get help. If you go to college, your school should have counseling services that are, from what I’ve heard, usually part of your tuition. I don’t know how well-versed they’d be in AVPD, but at least it’d be a start. In the meantime, you could try researching therapies used with AVPD patients. Talk to people with similar issues. Like people here. I’m sure they are many people on this blog who are willing to talk to you about AvPD.

(Hi. I'm the 14 yr old anon) I mean, my parents are great at raising me and teaching me and loving me, but I just think that they don't know that personality disorders are an actual thing. Anything that could inform them maybe?

Well, since it seems like you think they’d be open to learning about it, you could research a butt ton of stuff about it and talk to them about it and inform them. Or you could print stuff for them or send them links to blogs/forums/research/etc. 

Hi:) I'm 14 years old and show signs of AvPD. I've talked to my parents about going to see a therapist or councilor, but they just say they will try to set something up, and they NEVER do. Also, they get upset with me when I show the signs of Avpd. What should i do? (Assuming you give advice)

Jeez. Unreliable people are the worst. Can you maybe just keep reminding them? Or just find a time when one of them isn’t busy and hand them the phone and like sit there with them while they make an appointment for you. I don’t know how they’ll receive that, but if you think it might work, it’s worth a try?? Or if you can, try to make the appointment yourself and tell them when it is. But I understand that’s really not an option for a lot of people due to bad social anxiety. Anyone have some ideas? 

I know you pretend, but seeing yourself as someone who can gracefully ride out the social train does pay off and you will smile a real smile sometimes. I know you're lonely, but there will be worthy patient people who will see how fantastic you are, in your little undiscovered cave, and will stick around for years. I know that its loud in there, but the whispers that challenge the benefits of hating yourself will get closer and kiss your cheek. Through the internet of course. Whatever's comf 4u.

Another sweet, positive message. Thank you. 

I want to propose some posts about progress in making avpd a smaller monster. Lets celebrate that you're a fantastic, adaptive human machine and you can live more fully than you imagined possible before. Do share how you surprised yourself. I personally know it gets better, and knowledge improves your ability to find the right tools to slowly tweak your thinking and give yourself love and what you need. Because after years of all this pain, YOU OWE IT TO YOURSELF. Lets remember those smiles.

Hm yes I like that idea. You all should submit your progress stories, however big or small. Any hurdle you made it over. Anything you’re proud of having done.