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Old 01-07-2018, 11:09 AM #1
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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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Old 01-08-2018, 09:10 AM #2
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Default Re: Difference between social anxiety and AvPD?

Everyone avoids, everyone withdraws when sad or depressed...
We don't have a patent on that so, yes, they both read simular but the differences is in the response and reaction.


A person with SA is basically in charge of their own thoughts and triggered into varying degrees of dire straights by certain events, circumstances etc.


AvPD is personality, we don't have thoughts that haven't been induced by AvPD. (every thought!)
The Avoidance has shaped us into how we think, act and behave.
Since early childhood we have been mentally groomed, following and learning not from our parents or caregivers, but AvPD because that is/was the only thing that is constant and dependant in our lives. (there is a bit more to that as well)

That shaping of maladjusted thinking becomes our psyche with reinforcement to keep a tight grip on us.
Think about it if something so terrible was easy to escape from then we wouldn't be influenced as we are.


AvPD is recognisable on here and that's why we are quick to pick up those who don't have the disorder. That early childhood and onward AvPD nurturing is obvious as its like a accent or signature in, like I said their response, and reactions.

SA and AvPD can be worded simular as they are both Anxiety issues, but one has ongoing impact even during times of quiet where the other needs a match to ignite.

Your psych will work with you and cater your needs accordingly.
I'm really sorry about the wall of text.
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Itís never alright. It comes and it goes.
Itís always around, even when it donít show.
They say it gets better. well I guess that it might.
But even when itís better, itís never alright.
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Old 01-08-2018, 02:47 PM #3
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Smile Re: Difference between social anxiety and AvPD?

This question came up once before here on PC. Here's a link to that post:

https://forums.psychcentral.com/avoi...l-anxiety.html

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Old 01-09-2018, 08:55 AM #4
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Default Re: Difference between social anxiety and AvPD?

I was told I have Avpd and Iím also in the uk. Grrrrrrr. I suggest doing as much of your own research as possible. Misdiagnosis isnít uncommon over here

I had some sort of CBT which didnít help. It was more like bulldozer therapy though to be honest

If you have a good therapist, they can help. But if the therapy is time limited especially there is the issue of wanting to ďpleaseĒ the therapist and to tell them they are helping even if they arenít

Avpd is more ďall encompassingĒ than social anxiety.

I now feel like deleting this post ..

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Old 08-29-2018, 02:04 PM #5
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Default Re: Difference between social anxiety and AvPD?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snap66 View Post
Everyone avoids, everyone withdraws when sad or depressed...
We don't have a patent on that so, yes, they both read simular but the differences is in the response and reaction.


A person with SA is basically in charge of their own thoughts and triggered into varying degrees of dire straights by certain events, circumstances etc.


AvPD is personality, we don't have thoughts that haven't been induced by AvPD. (every thought!)
The Avoidance has shaped us into how we think, act and behave.
Since early childhood we have been mentally groomed, following and learning not from our parents or caregivers, but AvPD because that is/was the only thing that is constant and dependant in our lives. (there is a bit more to that as well)

That shaping of maladjusted thinking becomes our psyche with reinforcement to keep a tight grip on us.
Think about it if something so terrible was easy to escape from then we wouldn't be influenced as we are.


AvPD is recognisable on here and that's why we are quick to pick up those who don't have the disorder. That early childhood and onward AvPD nurturing is obvious as its like a accent or signature in, like I said their response, and reactions.

SA and AvPD can be worded simular as they are both Anxiety issues, but one has ongoing impact even during times of quiet where the other needs a match to ignite.

Your psych will work with you and cater your needs accordingly.
I'm really sorry about the wall of text.
Apologies for the thread resurrection, but your post seemed to provide a good opportunity to avoid repetition via a new thread (although I'm also referencing info this related PC article)...

Is it possible to have both SA & AvPD simultaneously?

I have an essentially constant presence of self esteem issues & anxiety with interpersonal interactions and have had these for as far back as I have conscious memories. However, their degree varies - by external situation, my internal mood (dysthymia & MDD) & my ability to suppress.

I've been prescribed buspar for the SA, which had a positive effect, insomuch as it tended to allow me to be more assertive - this in turn, allowed me to engage in interactions I'd otherwise have been inclined to avoid, but it did not really seem to reduce the presence of the associated anxiety - I was better able override it & thus, the anxiety felt less significant.

I also experience similar anxiety for situations/activities that aren't necessarily interpersonal, but instead apply at an intrapersonal level. Again, the presence is essentially constant, but the degree of effect is variable. Maybe this fits entirely within the domain of self esteem issues, but it gets real hard to separate symptoms from the various diagnostic labels...
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Old 08-29-2018, 03:32 PM #6
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Default Re: Difference between social anxiety and AvPD?

Yes it is possible. The thing with AvPD is that it affects you even when you're by yourself. It never leaves you and every thought is impacted by it. It doesn't come and go based on situations.

It's fantastic you've found something that works for you. Keep working with that until it stops getting better. Have you tried CBT therapy for your SA? Remember that treatments don't cure anything but help you get to the point that you can make progress on your own. It could be that if you commit to SA treatment and give it time to sink in you'll find your symptoms are manageable.
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Old 08-30-2018, 08:26 AM #7
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Default Re: Difference between social anxiety and AvPD?

A psychiatrist describes the difference in a youtube video released today. Search for it, I can't post links.
He said the difference is "forming vs performing." AvPD means someone has trouble forming relationships and SA means someone has difficulty performing in social situations. It's the most succinct distinction I've ever heard.
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Old 08-30-2018, 09:56 AM #8
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Default Re: Difference between social anxiety and AvPD?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hgpd View Post
A psychiatrist describes the difference in a youtube video released today. Search for it, I can't post links.
He said the difference is "forming vs performing." AvPD means someone has trouble forming relationships and SA means someone has difficulty performing in social situations. It's the most succinct distinction I've ever heard.
Well, I score on both counts, although isn't trouble forming a relationship also an example of difficulty performing in a social situations? Avoidence may be the likely outcome for both for me, depending on both apparent internal leanings & situational worries...

I'll take a look for that video - thanks.
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Old 08-30-2018, 10:43 AM #9
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Default Re: Difference between social anxiety and AvPD?

A person Diagnosed with AvPD as their primary/core dx will have SA as a symptom.
A person Diagnosed with SA again as their primary dx wont have AvPD
The difference is one is a Personality disorder and the other is a triggered response.


You are yourself until triggered with SA
We're not....we're controlled by a personality disorder.
We behave according to these internal fixed instructions that have been moulding and shaping us since early childhood.
A person with SA has their own mind their own choices.
We're micro managing internally 24/7, our choices aren't our own.
__________________
Diagnosed: AvPD.

Itís never alright. It comes and it goes.
Itís always around, even when it donít show.
They say it gets better. well I guess that it might.
But even when itís better, itís never alright.
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Old 08-30-2018, 11:47 AM #10
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Default Re: Difference between social anxiety and AvPD?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snap66 View Post
A person Diagnosed with AvPD as their primary/core dx will have SA as a symptom.
A person Diagnosed with SA again as their primary dx wont have AvPD
The difference is one is a Personality disorder and the other is a triggered response.


You are yourself until triggered with SA
We're not....we're controlled by a personality disorder.
We behave according to these internal fixed instructions that have been moulding and shaping us since early childhood.
A person with SA has their own mind their own choices.
We're micro managing internally 24/7, our choices aren't our own.
I understand the distinction in your reply, but what if the SA has been present for long enough that to all intent & purpose, it is your 'yourself'? I mean, my tendency to avoid / stress over something that could be considered a typical SA trigger is likely omnipresent in me, but is also something that is often as much subconscious, as something that I'd actually think about. Like the dysthymia, I don't remember a time when it wasn't part of my thought processes, but it's likely such an integrated part of those processes that I wouldn't necessarily notice if it was on/off.

Hmm. Should apparently lifelong dysthymia be considered a personality disorder?

Last edited by marvin_pa; 08-30-2018 at 12:30 PM.
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