My brother as been diagnosed with Avoidant Personality disorder. I would like to know if anyone here has experience with this, and in particular if anyone has had treatment for this which improved their condition. I can no longer bear to see my bro wasting his life stuck in his bedroom and would dearly like some advice as to how he could overcome this debilitating disorder. Thank you very much.
I'm avoidant and am getting help through therapy. I isolate from the world, so I have to practice doing things like going out to go shopping so I can interact with others and eventually overcome my fear.
I feel sorry for your brother and anyone with this disorder. What he needs is a support group (which sounds like he already has) to encourage him to get some help.
Medication may also help if he socially anxious. Benzas sometimes help.
I hope everything turns out right with your brother. He really needs therapy. If he can't leave his home, there are still ways for him to contact a therapist. I would advise for you or someone close to him to be there to make the call for help with him or for him.
Dear Cinema chick,
thanks very much for your reply. I wish you lots of luck with your treatment. You mentioned therapy-is this the type of therapy where you talk about your childhood experiences, or is it more cognitive behavioural therapy?
I ask because my brother's can barely get a word out among strangers, so I imagine therapists would turn him totally dumb!
Can I ask if medications really do make a difference? I have been reading about people over the age of fifty who say that avpd or socail phobia has ruined their life. My brother is 24 and I desperately want him to get over this disorder before the age of 30-I can't stand the idea of him looking back on his life when he's older, realising that he has wasted most of it.
Thank you for any advice.
Cognitive therapy. It helps with self-esteem. Roleplaying is also a significant part of therapy. It helps you practice conversing with others.
It may take a while for your brother to open up in therapy. If he goes in saying that he has avoidant, I don't think the therapist is going to think him dumb. They will know how to handle him.
Medications haven't helped at all with social anxiety...but I am medication resistent. They have helped my mom somewhat. She's not officially avoidant, but it's obvious.
I know what you mean about him wasting his life. I've wasted all my years of high school avoiding everyone, now I don't have any friends and very little fun. I'm 19 and should be a freshmen for college. I'm too anxious to go to school. (and I'm schizoaffective, that's the other reason I'm not in school right now)
I hope all goes well. I'm really glad that you are supporting your brother. I guess usually avoidants don't have anyone in their lives.
Thanks again cinemachick,
I really hope that you get better soon. Do you have friends that you can talk to about Avpd?
I sometimes find it hard to talk to my brother about his disorder because I know that he already feels a little abnormal because he is not like other boys his age. By talking about it, I don't want him to think that I too thinks he's weird-I don't at all but it may be hard for him to listen to me talking about it without feeling like he is.
I think for him it is easier to go through life missing everything, but safe in his little room rather than facing things.
I wish there were something I could say to motivate him to take his disorder and recovery in his own hands-I feel like I am more motivated than him to find a solution to the problem.
Wishing you lots of luck,
I love Cognitive Therapy. That is the way to go but make sure that the therapist knows his therapy procedures and techniques. I've been to two therapists that claim to do cognitive therapy but they did not really practice or use any of the theory or techniques to help me out.
Last edited by strongernow; 06-11-2006 at 08:52 PM.
I agree with Stronger. I haven't had much success with cognitive therapy in the shrink's office. I have, however, learned much about it through the hospital. That is where I received much of my help.
This, of course, isn't the same case with everyone, so be hopeful that he will find someone or at least try to get help.
Because of avoidant disorder, I can only talk about it to a few people. My world consists of my boyfriend and my parents. That is actually a lot of connections compared to other avoidants. I also talk to my therapist and my psychiatrist on occasion. I don't recieve much help with avoidant because of my other illnesses (they have to be taken care of first, and I'm not getting stable, so its taking forever).
I wish I knew what you can say to him to get him motivated. If I only had avoidant, I probably wouldn't be in therapy and in the same situation he is in. I am a naturally ambitious person, so eventually, I would have overcome it...as I am slowly doing now...and would stop my isolation.
One idea would be to go to therapy yourself and ask a therapist on how to handle the situation (try maybe a family therapist). This situation is impacting you as well, so you may find relief and help for you. A therapist should know how to approach this matter and through you, will be able to connect to your brother.
You could learn some psychology and counseling tactics yourself and try to help him that way until he decides to get out and start living a good life. I just picked up Self matters by Dr.Phil on audio cassette and it is some of the best advice I've ever heard and I've been to a ton of counselors. Maybe you brother could benefit from some self help audio tapes or cds first?
BTW if you go to counselors some will say "The answer is in you" haha um this isn't buddhism so you can be sure to leave that quack behind, others will say "I have to get to know you better first before I think of a plan" ...skip on that guy too. Usually cognitiveists and behaviorists will have a plan for you and will be eager to help you right away. I like Emotion Focused Therapy too because it is so sensitive to your feelings and is so empathic but they also give advice and suggestions every now and then to help you move along your path in the right direction.
Last edited by strongernow; 06-12-2006 at 11:53 AM.
Hi Strongernow and Cinemachick,
Thanks so much for your replies,
I guess that there isn't a simple solution to these problems and it involves a lot of time, effort and lifestyle change.
I find boys to be less proactive than girls about solving their emotional problems unfortunately. I wish my brother would take the bull by the horns and go to a therapist and maybe take some medication, but unfortunately I have to try and push him to do something about it.
I also don't want to push too hard because I don't want him to think that I think he's not normal. I try to give a advice in a very relaxed manner so that he doesn't feel like he's being diagnosed.
As a result, he doesn't feel a great urgency about doing something about his AvPD, even though he has often told me that he wishes he could be like other guys his age and he doesn't want to see his life pass him by like this.
Cinemachick, you said that you are slowly getting better and better-is there a real improvement and can you see light at the end of the tunnel?
I would do anything to help him, but I have this fear that he will get to the age of 30(he's nearly 25) and still be in the same isolated boat. Maybe some type of stay in a rehabilitation centre will help?
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply and I wish you both the best of luck with your endeavours.
I just want to say what a wonderful sister you are.
Has your brother always been like this?
Perhaps meds would help. Some don't think it helps social anxiety but zoloft helped my social anxiety. It numbs you to the intensity of the fear of rejection. You still have thoughts about rejection but they don't impact on you as much.
I feel for you and your brother. You are right to want to help him.
i never relised that there was even a name for this disorder i thought it was just my own weird way.
Reading what every one has been saying about avpd has made me relise that i have had this problem my whole life and i've always been askin myself what the problem is,
but now i know dose it make a difference?im still gonna carry on actin the same way since i was a teen ive coped with this by drinking a lot,
coz alcohol gave me a confidence boost