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Avoidant Personality Disorder message board, open discussion, and online support group.

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Postby Nagason » Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:08 pm

I've been diagnosed with many mental health disorders over the years. Major depressive disorder on the bipolar spectrum, generalised and social anxiety disorder, ADHD, PTSD. I've always struggled to understand why I'm like I am and why I feel so completely different to everyone else.

My daughter is very mentally ill now and I have been reading everything I can find about different disorders to try and understand how she can get the help she needs. She is being well looked after in a unit now. Whilst doing all this research I came across avoidant personality disorder and thought it described me in every way. I can't believe this has been overlooked by health professionals all these years. I have had so much therapy of many types but maybe I haven't expressed my feelings enough for apd to be considered. I don't know. Anyway, this is how things have been for me. I welcome your views.

From my earliest memories (toddler onwards) I have had a very low anxiety threshold and a predisposition to blushing lots and very easily. My, 2 years older, brother was a nasty piece of work. He would constantly, verbally and physically, bully me. He was clever and would do this quietly, out of sight of my parents. He would push and push until, eventually, I couldn't take any more and would fly into a rage and attack him back. I could never win against him, bigger and older than me. I would be in a state of anger, frustration, and tantrum like behaviour with floods of tears. So when a parent came along I was the one who was causing the trouble and took the blame and shame. They, of course, knew it was provoked in someway but they would ignore that fact and tell me to "toughen up". If this event happened when out or when others were at our house my parents would tell me that I was an embarrassment to them. The result of this was regular humiliation, ridicule and regection for me.
My dad was a very successful business man who was also obsessed with motorbike development and racing. He was very good at this and was regarded highly in motorsports, he was British champion for a few years while I was young. He was and still is a perfectionist. My brother followed him into motorbike racing and was successful too.
There was huge pressure for me to do the same but I didn't want to. As a consequence of bullying, emotional neglect and pressure, I retreated into myself. I felt different, inadequate, inferior, an embarrassment, a disappointment and helpless. I was fearful of speaking in any social situations in case I was humiliated about my excessive blushing. I immersed myself in fiction books, role-playing games and computers. If I was alone I could escape from my life in this way. I became withdrawn and would hide away at any sign of risk.
At school it was much the same as at home. I was very quiet and fearful, and always on high alert. I would do all I could not to be noticed to escape the bullying that came my way.
Many things happened over the years but I havent changed much.
I see things so negatively. The world is dangerous. I only feel safe at home with my wife and kids. As soon as I step outside I feel like anyone that sees or talks to me is judging me. I fear they will see how pathetic I am. I have no sense of identity, I spend all my time worrying. I avoid social situations if possible but if I can't then I will spend my time on the sidelines trying to avoid conversation.
I have one friend that I trust to some extent but I push people away so they can't see what I'm trying to hide. I am socially inept.
I don't try new things in case I'm exposed, it's too risky.
If someone rejects me or criticises me, my world comes crashing down. I can't handle it.
I'm also incredibly self critical, if I don't do something perfectly then I'm a failure.
I think that covers most things. I was convinced it was along the lines of social phobia and anxiety but it seems it is much deeper than that. I perceive the world differently, my beliefs are different to others, it is with me All of the time and has been for over 40 years.
Avoidant personality disorder?
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Re: APD?

Postby Philonoe » Thu Apr 15, 2021 8:23 am

Hi Nagason,

Welcome to the forum! I don't know about diagnosis, but you'll certainly find interesting discussions for you here.

I'm sorry for what happened to you. I'm sorry your parents didn't protect you.

I think that the drama of having destructive sibling is often underestimated. you were small and defenseless.
It seems that you developped intelligence and imagination, and were able to develop yourself your way.

Please feel free to talk here. Personnally i like to share sometimes but try to stay very vague. I would try not to give concrete details (or maybe change them a little if possible), to make sure people can't recognise you or some of your family members.
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Re: APD?

Postby Snaga » Fri Apr 16, 2021 5:35 pm

Philonoe wrote:Please feel free to talk here. Personnally i like to share sometimes but try to stay very vague. I would try not to give concrete details (or maybe change them a little if possible), to make sure people can't recognise you or some of your family members.

As someone with AvPD traits and is very OCD- second what Philonoe says. It's easy to feel as if there is this Big Red Pin with your name on it, pointing to you when you post in open forum. Here! Right Here! This is _______ look what they posted!

but that's only because we're the ones doing the posting- we know who we are- no one else does. When I first began posting here I was incredibly paranoid- I still am, to a degree- so I do like Philo- I'll vague it up a bit but only in minutiae that can be left out without diluting what I'm trying to get across. Chances that someone will randomly come across and find any one user and be like Hey I know them! are... slim. I think if someone comes looking with the intent to find- you already got bigger problems.

Much to some members' chagrin (it's amazing how casual some are about oversharing- I blame social media on that), we religiously enforce anonymity in user names and the posting of anything personally identifying such as social media, email, real names, etc- for protection- we will protect you even if you don't think you need it- but also so that folks feel free to really open up. PF is next to useless, if we don't feel safe to do that.

Tell someone you love them today, for Life is short. But scream it at them in Klingon, for Life is also terrifying and confusing.

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