Beliefnet
Depression Help

What is Avoidant Personality Disorder?

Avoidant personality disorder (AVPD) is a real and serious mood disorder. Most of AVPD is caused by trauma. Some of the key ways to tell if you have avoidant personality disorder is:

  • continued feelings of inadequacy
  • extreme fear of being rejected, ridiculed, disliked or criticized
  • feeling socially inept or awkward even though you may not be
  • choosing to keep out of social activities, like meeting with friends
  • avoiding to go to work because you feel insecure or inadequate compared to co-workers
  • wanting to be liked by others
  • preoccupation with rejection

An AVPD person wants love but gets ridicule

A person with AVPD wants love but gets ridicule instead.

When a person who has avoidant personality disorder meets other people, he or she will usually feel insecure and tense, which makes anything he or she does awkward. That makes the AVPD person a prime target for ridicule because the person is seen as acting odd, wierd or out of place. Sadly, such ridicule leaves the AVPD person even more terrified of people.

But while AVPD makes the person want to avoid others, at the same time there is an intense need and desire to be loved or liked. It’s a double edged sword. The AVPD person craves love and acceptance. Any rejection therefore is cause of great despair. Which makes the AVPD person then ruminate over the rejection and want to be loved and accepted even more.

How to treat avoidant personality disorder

Treating AVPD takes time. And treatment is always slow.

The biggest hurdle is the patient-therapist relationship. Getting an AVPD person to trust his or her therapist takes lots of time, and even if there is some opening up by the AVPD person, there’s always a question of how much the AVPD person actually trusts the therapist.

Most therapist focus on improving the AVPD person’s interactions with other people. A therapist will look at improving social interactions and intimate relationships. One way of to do this is by first dealing with the traumatic event that created the AVPD. If a therapist can get some closure on the trauma or healing started, then the next step is to improve the person’s self-esteem.

Any cures for avoidant personality disorder?

Sadly, the answer is no. There is no cure for AVPD. But there are ways to control it.

Cognitive behavioural therapy is one of the more common ways to get this accomplished. CBT monitors beliefs and looks at what is real and what is imagined or assumed. Mindfulness therapy falls into this category.

Another way of treating AVPD is medication. However, at this time there is no medication that cures AVPD. The medications that are used are anti-depressants and anti-anxiety tablets that only help settle a person’s anxieties. But these meds only work short term.

 

 

avoidant personality disorder infographic | Terezia Farkas | depression help | Beliefnet

 

happiness
We all want to be happy. But many of us think happiness is out of our reach, beyond our control. That if you want to be happy you have to work really hard for it. But that’s not true.
Being happy doesn’t always take a lot of work. It can come from simply being in the moment. Of allowing yourself to fully enjoy that moment of life you are experiencing.

How can you get happy?

You won’t get happy waiting for happiness to happen. You need to act. Take the first step.

Live in the moment.

What can you do now – right now – to make yourself feel better? Is it a hug? A smile from someone?

Mindfulness is handy when you’re trying to live in the moment. Mindfulness can help manage depression. It can also manage anxiety. By focusing on the here and now, you are stopping your mind from listening to those wandering negative thoughts. You are giving yourself permission to be happy.

Practice kindness. 

Do something nice for someone else. The adage, “helping others makes you feel better” isn’t wrong. It works through vicarious pleasure, meaning that by helping someone else feel good you get to share a certain part of that emotion.
 Whether it’s someone you know or a stranger, spur of the moment or planned out, practicing kindness can make you happy.

Embrace your spirituality. 

Research shows that people who participate in their local church, synagogue, mosque or other preferred spiritual community are happier. It’s because there is a sense of community, of belonging to a group that focuses on taking the person to the next higher level of being. Spirituality involves sharing of emotions, embracing faults, and learning to love yourself. All these bring happiness.
Even reading spiritual literature can be helpful. Not religious? There are ethical societies and movements that get people thinking beyond themselves. Movements like the Law of Attraction show people how to bring powerful positive experiences into their realities.

 Unplug yourself from social media. 

People who spend more time on Facebook and other social media report lower self-esteem, less connection to others, and fewer positive emotions. Most people feel judged by social media, making a person feel worse about themselves. It’s well researched that social media increases anxiety, depression, and social isolation. So unplugging yourself from social media on a daily basis is healthy and likely to bring more happiness into your life.

Focus on time instead of money.

More money doesn’t buy happiness. But having less money is associated with pain and depression.
So you have to balance how much money you have with how you feel about life. One way to do this is by focusing on time.
When you realize that time is precious, you can make better decisions on how to spend that time. Like a non-renewable resource, once a certain moment passes it is gone. Mindfulness helps you focus on the importance of the moment. By spending your time in a way that is more fulfilling, you will be happier.

Your crown chakra is important when it comes to depression. If your crown chakra is out of balance, depression is one of the side effects.

The crown chakra

The crown chakra connects you to higher levels of consciousness. It helps you to go beyond your busy mind and be one with the divine energy.

Physically, the brain is where the crown chakra is located. Many people think the pineal gland is the actual ‘third eye’ or passageway through which your mind connects with the divine. When you’re depressed, this third eye becomes hazy and may even be blocked by darkness which surrounds depression.

How can you use your third eye to fight depression? Meditation is one way to go.

The meditative state

Meditation is creating your own reality. Meditation can decrease stress, alleviate anxiety, and help manage the dark energies that come with depression.

There are different types of mediation. Hypnogogic meditation, or lucid dreaming, keeps a balance between the sleep and dream state while remaining conscious that you are in a meditative state.

First, go into a state of deep meditation. Stay aware that you are in a meditative state. The key is to reach a deep meditative state for at least 10 minutes before entering the hypnogogic or lucid dreaming state.

crown chakra | Terezia Farkas | depression help | Beliefnet

 

impact of hoarding | Terezia Farkas | depression help | Beliefnet

 

Clutter impacts your mental health. The impact of hoarding on your mental health is that it causes parts of your brain that deal with pain and conflict to go berserk. Instead of leading a life that feels positive and calm, hoarders feel psychological pain.

The hoarder’s brain

A hoarder’s brain sparks into action when he or she thinks about throwing something away. Apparently the parts of the brain that are stimulated are the anterior cingulate cortex and insula, areas associated with pain and conflict!

This means hoarders experience actual measurable psychological pain if someone (including themselves) messes with their stuff.

You can’t concentrate when you’re surrounded by disorganized stuff

My uncle is a hoarder. Even though he lives in an extended semi-care facility, he managed to pick up so much stuff that was left lying around by other patients, it took two days to clean out his bachelor suite. And a hoarder takes what a hoarder wants. That means newspapers, chairs, plates, books – you name it.

After cleaning my uncle’s suite, I went home. And I breathed a sigh of relief at what I perceive to be my clean house. Not only did the clean environment make me breath easier, it also made me feel happier.

That’s because most people find it difficult to concentrate when they’re surrounded by disorganized piles of clutter. The clutter is an overload on your senses. This causes stress.

That stress can prevent your brain from any type of creative thinking.

The stress of hoarding

Stress hormones spike during moments when people are dealing with their stuff. Apparently, your brain treats the situation as if you’re attempting to multitask. Your stress hormones are released. And instead of being able to concentrate on your surrounding, your body is overwhelmed by all the information its receiving. And that makes your mind say, “I give up.”

Never mind the impact hoarding has on your physical health. If you’re surrounded by piles of newspapers, empty cigarette boxes, and old styrofoam cups and plates, the bacteria that’s in the air is also in your lungs. Pretty soon you’re feeling sluggish, and then you start breaking out in skin rashes and next you’re visiting the doctor for some antibiotics. I can tell you I felt sick even after using a face mask and gloves to clean my uncle’s suite.

Admitting to being a hoarder is tough

One of the toughest things to do for a hoarder is admit to hoarding. There will be excuses like, “But I need this” or “it’s still useful” even though that magazine from 2010 doesn’t contain anything that you don’t already know.

But its not easy to admit to hoarding. After all, when does a collection become an obsession that becomes hoarding?

So the first step to decluttering is admitting to yourself that you can still function without the item. Pick one thing in your room that you know you’ve got too much of, and honestly answer if you can function well without it.

People rarely see the clutter in their own homes. They’ll see hoarding issues in others before they see it in themselves. Be patient and kind when dealing with someone who hoards. And then go and look at your home to see if just maybe you too have an issue with clutter.

 * Click here to find out about Terezia Farkas and Depression Help

Join the conversation. Leave a comment. Ask a question