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Recently diagnosed with AvPD. Tips?

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Recently diagnosed with AvPD. Tips?

Postby temporarymember » Mon Nov 25, 2019 5:39 pm

I got diagnosed with AvPD today and I honestly feel really surprised. I thought no one would ever understand, that I'm an idiot for craving friendships and connections I will never be able to establish without tremendous amounts of help and will struggle to keep in contact with people even though I so badly want to. That I'm being overly dramatic for getting an anxiety attack before meeting friends I've subconsciously pushed away, that I'm selfish and inconsiderate for only being comfortable around one specific person at a time. I've often found myself confused in regards to who I can even consider my friend or not as I feel like everyone experiences me as a stranger at best. That I'd be seen as a clingy creep if I messaged someone twice on the same day though with hours apart the two messages.
I found it hard to explain the experience of an insurmountable mental block whenever I socialize with anyone but those I feel mostly comfortable with.

All my life I've been dumbfounded on even how to start working around these challenges despite my countless attemps, so I turn to you to ask...
What have you, or someone you know, found helpful when dealing with AvPD?
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Re: Recently diagnosed with AvPD. Tips?

Postby Scottishguy » Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:38 pm

temporarymember wrote: I thought no one would ever understand

I think what's made the biggest difference to me is talking to other people that struggle with being in social situations too. Whether that's face to face or online like this. The people I've been lucky enough to meet have often had different reasons from me (anxiety, Asperger's or bipolar.)

It's definitely worth hunting out everything in your local area that's going on mental health wise. Whether it's therapy, support groups, peer support, befriending groups, volunteering, fundraising, supported employment, advocacy or whatever else.

I find the hardest bit is admitting to myself how difficult it actually is for me. The other part is being honest with people about what I feel up to facing on a daily basis. And being brutally honest with them that I'm not pushing them away, I'm just finding face-to-face meetings a bit much at the moment. (For whatever reason.)

Hope this is of some use.
What it says on my diagnosis is:

    Personality disorder, unspecified (moderate, with avoidant and borderline, components)
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Re: Recently diagnosed with AvPD. Tips?

Postby lilyfairy » Sat Dec 07, 2019 10:26 am

temporarymember wrote:All my life I've been dumbfounded on even how to start working around these challenges despite my countless attemps, so I turn to you to ask...
What have you, or someone you know, found helpful when dealing with AvPD?

Learning that I need to adjust the goalposts. That my goalposts and the plan to get there will both look different to those of someone without AvPD. And that one goal for someone else, I might need to break down into half a dozen steps.

That it's ok if my my challenges are just everyday things to other people/things other people just do without needing to even think about it like going to the supermarket, or making a phonecall.

I make a list of what I need to get done for the week, and I break that down into smaller things which are more easily achievable. Because sometimes I just can't get the whole house cleaned, but I manage to at least tick off having vacuumed the floor. The more I can get ticked off, even if it is lots of little things, still feels like an achievement.

That I need to allow myself a "recovery day" the day following a lot of social interaction where I try to keep interactions to a minimum, just to reset and calm down a bit. Work out what level of social interaction you can cope with and what's too much- it will differ depending on how you're feeling at the time. Sometimes for me one on one conversations are ok, sometimes small groups are, and sometimes they're really not.

Seeking therapy- despite how it is feeling, AvPD is one of the most treatable personality disorders. CBT is known to be effective in treating it. Recovery doesn't mean to become the total opposite of avoidant, but just that it doesn't impact your life quite so severely. I do know of other people who have reached a point of recovered. Also with therapy, it means I have someone to talk to about what is going on- I don't have a lot of support outside of that.

Be patient with yourself- there's going to be times when you feel like you're going no-where or going backwards- and you've just got to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Finding other people dealing with the same thing has been really helpful.
First rule of mental health: Learn to distinguish who deserves an explanation, who deserves only one answer, and who deserves absolutely nothing.

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