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Old 01-07-2018, 11:09 AM
bluestar62 bluestar62 is offline
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Member Since: Jan 2018
Location: UK
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bluestar62 bluestar62 is offline
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Member Since: Jan 2018
Location: UK
Posts: 2

1 yr Member
Default Difference between social anxiety and AvPD?

Could someone explain the difference between AvPD and Social Anxiety to me please?

I've been diagnosed with the latter but I'm wondering if I have the former. I was reading an article on Avoidant Personality Disorder and I identify with pretty much all the symptoms. I have real trouble with forming friendships and have no romantic/sexual relationships (or the desire for them, tbh). I can interact with people to an extent but I constantly super self-conscious during it wondering things like: am I talking too much? do I seem normal? should I fill this silence? are things awkward? are they judging me? I have problems letting others know when I like someone or feel affection for fear I'll be rejected or it'll give them some kind of power over me. I even find it uncomfortable/difficult to tell my mother I love her (but have no problem showering my dogs and cats with love and affection).

I've tried a couple of different therapies before like IPT and CBT but haven't really found them very helpful. My difficulty is that I tell my therapists what I think the want to hear (eg that I'm improving/getting better as time goes on) and worry about letting them down or disappointing them. During CBT I was diagnosed with social anxiety and told my past self harming, overdose and shutting myself in the house was a form of avoidance used to cope with my anxiety. They told me that talking to people, etc would get easier as time went on but it still feels forced and uncomfortable (I was last in CBT 3 years ago).

I'm going to a mental health assessment at the end of the month and I'm worried about being mis-diagnosed (if I have been in the past) or seeming like I'm making myself out to be worse than I am or a hypochondriac. In the past during assessments I've been told I'm better than I think because I can do things like smile at people in the street or make small talk. I can do these things but I'm super self-aware when I do - I'm just decent at faking normal for short period of time. Plus I'm worried because I can never tell a doc (or anyone) if I disagree and think they're wrong about a diagnosis so I end up going along with whatever they say.

To those with AvPD - what is it like? Could I have AvPD rather than social anxiety? Is treatment different from social anxiety?
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