Avoidant Personality Disorder Essay

Document Type:Case Study

Subject Area:Psychology

Document 1

However, individuals who suffer from personality disorder have problems dealing with others. Such people normally tend to be rigid and incapable of responding to the demands and changes in their environment. Even though people with personality disorders may think that their behavioral patterns are normal, they tend to have a narrow perspective of the world and find it hard to participate in social events. Towards this end, this paper will provide a biography of an individual with a personality disorder and outline how it this disorder affects the patient's social life and relationship with family, friends, and workers in the various life stages. Also, the paper will analyze the scenario from a theoretical perspective by applying hypothetical principles to give an understanding of the personality disorder and provide treatment recommendations.

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Due to her fear of rejection and lack of courage to ask for peer work, she often worked on projects alone. However, when forced to work in groups, Sara never raised her voice or aired her opinion and responded to any question with a “no” because she feared that others may not like her or her ideas. Also, due to her fear of rejection, Sara never asked for help with any assignments. Moreover, she only visited the toilet when it was less crowded and during a common break, she took her lunch box and sat in the corner alone. During assemblies, she often stood behind others hoping that she will not be seen or noticed. Due to her interpersonal and social problems, Sara often underperforms in different jobs and as a result, she ended up as an artist working in a private studio.

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Definitely, this job does not expose her to any gatherings or force her to communicate with many people may make her anxious. Also, she has cultural pressure to get married but lacks interest in it due to her low self-esteem. Summarily, based on these behaviors, Sara is suffering from avoidant personality disorder. According to DSM-5, avoidant personality disorder (AvPD) is a psychological condition characterized by a long-term pattern of extreme social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy and sensitivity to rejection or hypersensitivity to negative evaluation by others that begin at childhood (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Due to the fear of rejection and criticism, people with AvPD are likely to withdraw from the social world and disconnect with people around them as a means of avoiding embarrassment or feeling inferior (Rettew et al.

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As a result, a person may end up losing close ties with friends and family or even co-workers. Therefore, such people are unlikely to get into gathering and these may extend to the work environment in which and individuals becomes unable to work with others (Sanislow, Bartolini & Zoloth, 2012). The actual cause of AvPD is unknown but research shows that environmental factors such as rejection by parents or peers play a major role in the development of this condition (Rettew et al. This hypothesis is evident in Sara’s case since the beginning of her low self-esteem and social incompetency began as a result of living under the care of an insensitive and authoritarian mother who criticized, judged and punished her in her childhood.

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Anxiety, on the other hand, always creates disunity thus disrupts the fulfilment of needs and interferes with interpersonal relations (Evans, 2006). Anxiety could undermine one’s ability to satisfy his or her interpersonal relationships at any stage of the human development thus leading to impairment in personality. Sullivan’s concept of needs and anxiety as explained above could be used to understand Sara's case. Sullivan identifies tenderness as the most basic interpersonal need which affects the overall well-being of a person and thus must always be met right from infancy (Evans, 2006). A child will often expect tenderness from the primary caregiver as it facilitates the development of an interpersonal relationship between the two entities. In other words, children can absorb that they are bad from someone else more often than not, a bad mother.

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This theory applies to the case study in that due to her insensitive and uncaring mother who often punished and criticized her during her childhood, Sara ended up having a low self-esteem and a perception that she is inferior before everyone else. As a result, she ended up developing a negative attitude about herself in which she believed people dislike her or tend to criticize her because she is not good enough. Sara’s perception is a good example of bad-me personifications as proposed by Sullivan. Sullivan also identified the various ways in which an individual may perceive, imagine or conceive the world. This condition does not only affect Sara but also her family and co-workers whom she is unable to relate with due to her low self-esteem issues and social incompetency arising from anxiety.

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