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Does anyone here feel the threat of others' judgement even

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Does anyone here feel the threat of others' judgement even

Postby Frankiefrank » Sun Jan 31, 2021 8:02 pm

...even when they are at home, safe and alone?
Hello, I am new to the forum. I don't have an official diagnosis of AvPD - I am comorbid bi-polar and autistic. What makes me think I am AvPD is this relentless sense of impending, negative judgement from the people I know that spoils my safe, alone time (as well as the time I spend out and about).
I fulfill the requisite number of symptoms form the list - have always been hypersensitive to criticism, socially anxious, and terrified of rejection, for example.
So I am wondering if anybody else goes over and over social interactions - recent and past - trying to work out what, if anything, went wrong; desperately looking for signs that it [I] might have behaved acceptably. I feel this weighing upon me as soon as I wake up. By 4pm, I start to feel nauseas. The only social stuff I engage in is shopping in Lidl and walking my dogs in the park; by 4pm I am as ready as I'll ever be to take the dogs out. Sometimes I can't do it and they have to make do with a lead-walk around the block where I rarely have to speak to anyone.
Fear of people and the general anxieties about rejection and criticism spreads to other parts of my life - I struggle to take part in social media activities like posting my photographs or art-and-craft work. It's like being agoraphobic and finding that all my walls have disappeared.
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Re: Does anyone here feel the threat of others' judgement even

Postby lilyfairy » Sat Feb 06, 2021 4:31 am

Hi and welcome to the forum

Frankiefrank wrote:...even when they are at home, safe and alone?
Yes, definitely. Some of it can be over interactions that have already happened- usually where I have said something awkward and am going over and over it in my head (I also have autism/aspergers), or anticipating outings. The feeling judged thing is a big part of AvPD.

I do find that the longer I put things off, the worse my anxiety about it will get- the obvious thing would be to do it earlier, before my brain runs away with it, but that's not usually how it works out. I do try to set myself a goal to do it by x day, and find if I put it on a list with other things I need to do, it's sometimes helpful. I check things off on my list as I go, and seeing things checked off makes me feel a tiny bit more confident about getting through things.

I don't use social media either- I should, because if I posted photos of my sewing and crafts that I do, I would likely get orders to do more of it (and get paid for it!), but I'm not sure if I can deal with it- my privacy and feeling safe in people not being able to find me is so far more important to me.

Something that can help me sometimes in blocking out the feeling judged thing is to get myself absorbed in a project- my sewing or crafts, music sometimes (I'm a musician). Some days music doesn't work either. One thing that I can block out a lot with is jigsaw puzzles- that seems to use most of my brainpower and focus at one time on one thing- if I'm feeling overwhelmed, it can help me calm down/tune out to things.

Sometimes breaking things down into baby steps help. Would taking the dogs to the end of the street rather than all the way to the park and getting comfortable with that first help? It's ok to have days where you really struggle though. Hugs.
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Re: Does anyone here feel the threat of others' judgement even

Postby KitMcDaydream » Thu Aug 26, 2021 7:03 pm

I am autistic with other MH issues.

I feel I have no social skills and nobody likes me as I seem to have lost my ability to mask effectively since starting the peri menopause then spending the last 18 months shielding cos of covid.

I have a dog too and always took him out a quieter times but we did a few people I'd stop and talk to so my dog could play with theirs. But since the lockdowns and having to actively avoid people I've been getting up really early and getting him out first thing when no-one else is about to avoid all contact and chance we could get it passed on to us.

I don't know if you can develop AvPD from other conditions or its more likely if you have other conditions that affect social skills or understanding people? or whether it's just a result of things like childhood bullying?

I also fit several of Schizotypal too but I haven't always been so bad. When my masks were functioning well I did cope with work and even university as long as I was 'being someone else' in public, so 'the real me' was protected by several layers of other personalities. ....like an onion with endless layers to peel back wondering when you find the 'core' ...real person underneath everything!!

Sometimes I have absolutely no idea who I really am!
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Re: Does anyone here feel the threat of others' judgement even

Postby lilyfairy » Thu Sep 02, 2021 10:33 am

KitMcDaydream wrote:I don't know if you can develop AvPD from other conditions or its more likely if you have other conditions that affect social skills or understanding people? or whether it's just a result of things like childhood bullying?
Not really sure, but it wouldn't surprise me that other conditions could contribute to it. The roots of a PD begin in childhood- bullying and abuse can greatly contribute. It would be interesting to find out how much overlap there would be between people with AvPD symptoms and those of autism. I've not been formally diagnosed, but my therapist and doctor both settled on the idea I have autism/aspergers. That was a few years ago.

KitMcDaydream wrote:When my masks were functioning well I did cope with work and even university as long as I was 'being someone else' in public, so 'the real me' was protected by several layers of other personalities. ....like an onion with endless layers to peel back wondering when you find the 'core' ...real person underneath everything!!
I would function with my "masks" for a while, until things built up too much and I'd fall in a heap. I'd take time off work, build myself back up and go again- it was exhausting, and each crash was progressively worse. Eventually I was granted disability, and could go from trying to do 4 days a week at work to 1. We may be talking about different kinds of masks though.

With current lockdown situations, I don't think it's unusual to be more wary of being around people, and avoiding them. I do think I'm coping with the whole lockdown thing better than the vast majority of the population. I think it will be harder for people like us to move back into being more social than most though. I'm finding I'm missing contact with people- there's clearly a small amount of interaction that I need rather than being a total hermit- like going to my yoga classes at the gym, or going to visit my sister and my nephew.
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Re: Does anyone here feel the threat of others' judgement even

Postby 1PolarBear » Fri Sep 03, 2021 1:35 am

lilyfairy wrote: It would be interesting to find out how much overlap there would be between people with AvPD symptoms and those of autism.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3849991/

A study in which patients with AS were assessed with the structured clinical interview for DSM-IV (the SCID-II) revealed that 19–32% of them met formal criteria for compulsive PD, 21–26% for schizoid PD, 13–25% for avoidant PD, and 3–13% for schizotypal PD (6, e1). Personality disorders differ from AS in that the abnormal behavior pattern of a PD generally appears in puberty or later, after initially well-adjusted social behavior in childhood.


I am sure you could find some other numbers somewhere else. It's a very small study with only 122 people.

The problem is that they are differential diagnostics, so if someone is autistic, there is probably no reason to diagnosed this on top, the behavior can be explained without it. In this case, the main difference is when those things appear. Either that or the person lacks some of the other features of autism, enough to be ruled out.
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Re: Does anyone here feel the threat of others' judgement even

Postby lilyfairy » Mon Sep 13, 2021 10:41 am

Thanks for the link. :)

1PolarBear wrote:The problem is that they are differential diagnostics, so if someone is autistic, there is probably no reason to diagnosed this on top, the behavior can be explained without it. In this case, the main difference is when those things appear. Either that or the person lacks some of the other features of autism, enough to be ruled out.
True that. My AvPD diagnosis came long before someone suggested autism/aspergers. Both seem to fit- I do see how they overlap though and why they'd decide one over the other though.
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Re: Does anyone here feel the threat of others' judgement even

Postby 1PolarBear » Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:19 pm

lilyfairy wrote:True that. My AvPD diagnosis came long before someone suggested autism/aspergers. Both seem to fit- I do see how they overlap though and why they'd decide one over the other though.


Did you get an official diagnosis for the autistic part after, or is it simply a guess?
Don't answer if you don't want to. :)
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Re: Does anyone here feel the threat of others' judgement even

Postby lilyfairy » Fri Sep 17, 2021 12:40 pm

That's fine. :) Not official, but two therapists who I've worked with for at least 12 months each, and my GP who I've dealt with for about 5 years all went "yes, that's it- finally explains it". My therapy has since shifted from trying to "fix" things and more trying to understand why I struggle with everyday things more than other people.

When the autism idea came up, I'm not sure why, but I was kind of offended to begin with. I had to go away to do a lot of reading before I could admit it did explain an awful lot of things.
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Re: Does anyone here feel the threat of others' judgement even

Postby 1PolarBear » Fri Sep 17, 2021 11:38 pm

I see. Makes sense, thank you.
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