Do I have avoidant personality disorder or something else?

Lacey Asked: Do I have avoidant personality disorder or something else?

I've been reading up on a few mental disorders because I've finally come to admit that there is something seriously wrong with me. After narrowing down my research, I think I might have avoidant personality disorder.

I've been very shy all my life. I'm 16, and I can count on my fingers how many people that I consider friends. When I was in elementary school, my teacher put me into some special class for children that have self-esteem issues. And then in fifth grade I made regular visits to my guidance counselor because I was crying every other day. When I got to middle school, everyone bullied me because I was that loser who was always by herself. I socialized with a few people, but that was only because I didn't want other people to make fun of me anymore because I was alone.

I just have trouble talking to other people. I can't think of anything to say, so my conversations with people are often very short and awkward. I can tell they don't like me, even though I try my best to be friends with them. I can't even comprehend HOW to make friends. I mean, what do you do? Just walk up to a group of people and start talking to them? I know if I try that I'll just look like a fool. I can see it in their eyes, too. That's what they think.

So I frequently do things in school alone, even though I desperately wish I had someone to be with. I rarely go out of my house for anything other than school or doing things with my family. A lot of times when I AM alone, I daydream. A lot. More than I think normal people do. When I'm riding home in the bus, I day dream. When I'm sitting in class not doing anything, I day dream. Even I when I do have someone to talk to, I day dream. I just use it as a way to escape from everything. I really want to stop that. I think that is what has led to my sleeping problems, too. I can't go to sleep without day dreaming, which leads to me not sleeping at all. I wake up in the middle of the night unable to go back to sleep. I'm sick of it.

I hate the way I am. I've never cut myself, but I do think about suicide a lot.

One of the symptoms I've read for AVD is extreme sensitivity to rejection/criticism. I've had this all my life, just thinking it was something that everyone does. Now that I think about it, wanting to cry just because someone didn't like a picture you drew is kind of ridiculous. I think this is why I haven't told my parents about my condition yet. I'm afraid that they might be disappointed in me or embarrassed or annoyed that I made all this drama only to find out that there's nothing wrong with me.

So what do you think? Do I have avoidant personality disorder or something else or am I just weird? Please help.


Sho Answered:
You sound a LOT like me when I was 16. I'm 18 now and in my first year of college.

When I was your age, I was in a similar situation, I felt like the bottom of the barrel at school, and I didn't understand how to make friends. I was bullied and I felt so different. I thought I had Asperger's syndrome. I went to the guidance counselor and told my parents, but nobody helped me. That's one thing I have a hard time getting over; nobody helped me, even when I reached out.

I still dont' know if I have AS, or even AVD. I think it's very possible that I could be diagnosed with something if I went to a psychiatrist, but I've been on my own, helping myself.

It's a lot better now that I'm in college. Everyone has a fresh start, and nobody sees you as part of a social structure. You're just a peer. Sometimes, you might just strike up a random conversation with someone and become their friend.

What are your good points? Maybe you have a great hobby, or personality, or sense of humor. There is something about you that other people will like. You just have to cultivate it.

High school sucks. Especially for people who aren't social butterflies. It's a shame that it's made to exclude anyone who's just not cut out for it. Whether you have a disorder, whatever its called, and whether or not you get help for it, you're you. You're a unique, interesting, creative person.

nobody Answered:
Your comment "I desperately wish I had someone to be with" makes it sound more like social anxiety disorder than avoidant personality disorder.But people on the internet can't diagnose you – only a trained mental health professional can do that.If it's so bad that it's negatively affecting your daily functioning, then it is something which warrants attention (whether it's a diagnosable problem or just difficulty fitting in or whatever).I don't know what your parents are like but hopefully they want the best for you so if you tell them you're struggling and you think you need to see someone they should be sympathetic.Best of luck.

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