Avoidant Personality Disorder Vs Social Anxiety: The Difference Matters

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Avoidant Personality Disorder Vs Social Anxiety: The Difference Matters

It’s not surprising that many medical and behavioral health conditions exist that have overlapping symptoms. Often, this leads to an incorrect self-diagnosis. While this may be harmless in some cases, in others, like an avoidant personality disorder or social anxiety, it may significantly hinder treatment. Something severe could go unaddressed regardless of the diagnosis. Here’s the real difference you need to know and how a social anxiety disorder treatment center in North Carolina may be able to help.

If you’re looking for mental health treatment in Asheville, North Carolina, call Red Oak Recovery®. We offer holistic and alternative therapies that have proven effective for treating mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse disorders. For more information about our North Carolina anxiety treatment program, please contact Red Oak Recovery® today at 866.457.7590.

What Is Avoidant Personality Disorder?

An avoidant personality is part of a group of anxiety personality disorders. Those with this disorder tend to have a poor self-image and an overwhelming fear that others are judging them. This leads a person to avoid everything from social events to trips to the grocery store.

An estimated 2.5 percent of people have it, and it’s rarely diagnosed before adulthood. The cause of avoidant personality disorder is still unknown, but researchers have seen this condition run in families, even when family members don’t live with each other. This suggests it may be both genetic and environmental.

So what about avoidant personality disorder vs. social anxiety? People with avoidant personality disorder are likely to:

  • Be hypersensitive to criticism
  • Have few or no friends
  • Experience extreme fear about social events
  • Being seen by others as shy or awkward
  • Exaggerate life’s challenges
  • See themselves as unattractive and not worthy of love or friendship

What Is Social Anxiety Disorder?

A person with social anxiety experiences emotional triggers in social settings that may cause them to freeze or flee. Because of it, they often avoid social events in the first place.

But, once again, looking at avoidant personality disorder vs. social anxiety, people with social anxiety usually want to make friends and be more social. Their fear keeps them from doing so.

People with social anxiety get triggered when:

  • Someone watches them do something
  • Harmless teasing occurs
  • Focus moves to them
  • They have to speak in public
  • They might have to do private things with people around, like making a phone call or talking to a friend

You might blush, stutter, lose your train of thought, or freeze as a result, furthering the embarrassment. In contrast to avoidant personality disorders, people with social anxiety don’t see themselves as inferior. Aside from social awkwardness, they see themselves as equals. They’re often frustrated because they have so much to offer the world, but fear holds them back in their social life, career, and happiness.

Is fear holding you back? Social anxiety treatment may be able to help.

How Is Avoidant Personality Disorder vs. Social Anxiety Treated

With avoidant personality disorder, you need to get to the root of the disorder. What false beliefs or events caused the development of the disorder? Many disorders have a genetic component. But you determine how you address the condition. Sadly, the symptoms of avoidant personality can themselves be a barrier. You might tell yourself that it’s too hard to change, or it’s just easier to continue this way.

The first steps are the hardest. You may respond well to talk therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. The professionals you work with need to be infinitely patient and compassionate because you may give up or put up walls when things get too real.

On the other hand, those with social anxiety may respond well to a combination of medicine, better nutrition, exercise, and therapy. Medicine can immediately eliminate the fear element so that you can begin working on the thoughts and habits contributing to the worsening condition. Exercise and proper nutrition reduce the time that fear hormones reside in your body.

In both cases, you’ll likely find that the more time you spend around people, the faster you improve. So, adventure-based therapy in a controlled environment can help. This might include things like:

  • Art
  • Music
  • Hiking
  • Canoeing

Seek Support at Red Oak Recovery® Today

At Red Oak Recovery®, we know how challenging social anxiety and avoidant personality disorder can be. It may also result in the person using substances to cope. We offer a range of treatment options to help you heal. In addition, we offer treatment for underlying substance use disorders, which can often be contributing factors to avoidant personality disorder and social anxiety. Our substance use disorder treatment options include:

  • Alcohol addiction treatment
  • Heroin addiction treatment
  • Marijuana addiction treatment
  • Opioid addiction treatment
  • Prescription drug addiction treatment

Red Oak Recovery® takes a holistic approach to help you overcome your fears so that you can more fully experience life. Call us at 866.457.7590 to begin the healing journey.