More threads by Sanjuro21

Daniel E.
Psychiatrists,psychologists don't know the causes of a disorder,so they just suggesting different therapies that suppose will help.
Behavior therapy works very well for practically everything.

I remember as a teenager I thought my first therapist was too naive -- like his belief that practicing small talk would help with my shyness. It seemed crazy to me (at the time) that little things like saying "hello" to a store clerk could be helpful for what seemed like insurmountable social anxiety.

Similarly, most people find behavior therapy to be too scary or upsetting (like with "exposure therapy") or too tiring or boring (like with "behavioral activation"). And it can all seem pointless anyway, especially since human nature can be more reactive than proactive.

So what works for most people is gradual behavior change, with results that may take longer to notice.

Regarding exposure therapy:

Regardless of treatment modality, however, one of the keys to treatment success (as with other anxiety conditions) is exposure. Patients who simply take a medication or who speak with a therapist are not likely to report symptom relief before they take the risk of confronting their feared situations.

Greater success can be anticipated if the therapist supports patients and encourages them to confront their fears. This can take the shape of a specific homework assignment within a cognitive-behavioral format or therapist support of the patient's willingness to risk intimacy and no longer be the "perfect patient" within a psychodynamically oriented framework.

Medications can help with tolerating behavior therapy or behavior change, as can exercise, mindfulness, socialization, journaling, or anything else that is good for one's brain.

And it's much easier to do anything with social facilitation. In other words, it is easier to make changes with the help of someone else or a group of other people. Even someone just monitoring your progress can help. That's another reason even primary care doctors can be of help with regular visits.


My issue,as basic issue,is the fear to try,the fear of the uknown result of the try.Fear and insecurity to act,to take action for making friends,talking to girls,fear to make change to own self.

Daniel E.
Did your previous therapist mention things like self-esteem or self-acceptance?

In any case, it always helps to work on self-acceptance. Self-acceptance is a skill that can take a lifetime to master, but it is arguably the most important thing for recovery. So instead of a "I need to fix me" mindset where one is basically fighting against aspects of one's own self, one develops a "growth mindset" and "unconditional positive self-regard."

I am guessing you did not get enough of this work in therapy. (Most therapists are not client-focused enough. And my previous therapists did not model self-acceptance enough during sessions.)

For example:

“What if there’s nothing wrong with you?” is about building the skill of acceptance. ~ Daryl Chen

"Far from being self-indulgent, self-compassion is both a kind and effective motivator." ~ Christina Chwyl

Screen Shot 2022-01-02 at 9.20.49 AM.jpg

Regarding social anxiety:

“Paradoxically, accepting that you’re just not a confident person and you’re always going to feel a little off around other people will begin to make you feel more comfortable and less anxious around others. You won’t judge yourself, and then you’ll feel less judged by them as well.”

~ Mark Manson


"One thing that has always resonated with me was a suggestion I read about coping with the disorder. Like all others, chances are it will always be a part of you regardless of how much therapy and medication you go through. The key is to get to that point where you don't classify yourself as someone with Avoidant Personality Disorder, you are able to see yourself as having an Avoidant Personality style. For example, you don't beat yourself up from not attending a social function, you recognize that you would not have enjoyed it and are comfortable with your decision not to go. To feel OK with being alone instead of feeling like a failure. Now naturally, you cannot be an island and need to participate socially for emotional and professional reasons. Takes a while to become functional in these areas, especially when you are in a socially retreating mode as you said that you are now."

The same poster also alludes to neurodiversity as a path to self-acceptance:

"I did participate in an online forum years ago with people that had AvPD. It was very eye opening to get to know the stories of all these wonderful, creative, intelligent, and empathetic people. Makes you wonder if all these traits were a cause or a result of the condition."

Daniel E.
Fear of the unknown is more difficult and can take a lifetime since if the fear or anxiety is very general -- like trying to overcome anxiety itself. So the goal there is to also accept/absorb/manage the anxiety rather than to just reduce it. Fear of failure can be somewhat general as well.

The more general the anxiety, the more general the treatments -- like exercise and mindfulness apps.

For both specific and general fears/anxieties, cognitive techniques are used -- such as becoming more aware of the mind's cognitive distortions like all-or-nothing thinking.

Fear of talking to other people is easier or simpler to treat behaviorally since the feared object -- socialization with people -- is relatively specific (compared to the general uncertainty of life itself). Fear of talking to others can be reduced by simply talking to other people. If you think talking to people may increase your chances of being ridiculed, then talking to other people can reduce your fear of ridicule as well:

"The process of systematic desensitization occurs in three steps. The first step is to identify the hierarchy of fears. The second step is to learn relaxation or coping techniques. Finally, the individual uses these techniques to manage their fear during a situation from the hierarchy. The third step is repeated for each level of the hierarchy, starting from the least fear-inducing situation."

Daniel E.
Yes, unfortunately, that is often the case. That is the primary reason I have decided to close the forum. The Psychlinks forum is now only online as an archive, so posting is no longer possible. This forum, like many others, has been slowly waning for years now regarding membership. Also, the founder of the forum passed away in October.

I wish you well.

As you may know, Reddit has an AvPD community:

Also see:

(a popular forum with a weekly Zoom meeting)

(best for reading old posts)

There are also Facebook groups mentioned here: GoodRx
Replying is not possible. This forum is only available as an archive.