Avoidant Personality Disorder

Avoidant Personality Disorder is a personality disorder where individuals are timid and shy, and because they are so uncomfortable and afraid of rejection or criticism, they avoid social contact. However, they do wish to have friends, unlike individuals with schizoid personality. In addition, they are self-critical and have low self-esteem. If affected individuals are given strong guarantees of uncritical acceptance, however, they will make friends and participate in social gatherings.

Risk Factors

A pervasive pattern of social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy, and hypersensitivity to negative evaluation, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by 4 (or more) of the following:

  1. Avoids occupational activities that involve significant interpersonal contact because of fears of criticism, disapproval, or rejection.
  2. Is unwilling to get involved with people unless certain of being liked
  3. Shows restraint within intimate relationships because of the fear of being shamed or ridiculed
  4. Is preoccupied with being criticized or rejected in social situations.
  5. Is inhibited in new interpersonal situations because of feelings of inadequacy.
  6. Views self as socially inept, personally unappealing, or inferior to others.
  7. Is unusually reluctant to take personal risks or to engage in any new activities because they may prove embarrassing

Episode Specifier

Severity Specifier

Specify if:

Personality Disorder Guidelines

Guideline Location Year PDF Website
World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP) International 2009 - Link