More threads by RBM


I hate having Avoidance and Dependance disorder, I struggle and struggle trying to make progress in life but it's so pointless I always have these stupid disorders that stop me. I wish I could have one day where I didn't have to worry about what other people think. How can I ever improve, I hate hate hate being this way. I'd give anything to have self-esteem, confidence and not worry constantly about what people think. And I have no friends to help and no good connections with my family. I have never ever heard of anyone that has my disorders let alone beaten them. No one understands me, people minimize my problems.

Why am I cursed like this? I want to be the social person everybody likes, I never asked for all this crap.


Well, you've heard of one now. I beat Avoidance and Dependence disorders, along with a couple of other "non-people-friendly" syndromes. I did it with therapy, medication and conviction. You can, too.

The trick, I think, is to learn to live in the moment instead of constantly worrying about what someone is going to think, or what's going to happen tomorrow when that dreaded party is going on and you weren't invited (or were, and are getting the jitters about attending). Find your happiness in the here and now. Do something you enjoy, or find something to enjoy. There's much to be said for sitting quietly and watching the leaves move in the trees and the birds and butterflies going about their lives.

I think the hardest thing I had to do was to stop concentrating on what was "wrong" with me and feeling sorry for myself because of it. The answer was found in actively seeking to do something about it, and taking positive steps toward that goal. It's an ongoing process and it takes work and committment.


Wow I can't believe someone has actually beat these disorders. You should be a role model for the entire world. Congradulations you must be a very strong person. :)

I know I should live in the moment but I am unable to, as you know with a PD it's not something I am bringing on to myself it is a part of me. It is my personality and I don't know what it's like for you but to change that for me is like changing what foods taste good. How can I be something I have no experience with. It's not even voluntary my thinking I just think of what other people think of me and it takes over my brain. I walk into a room start thinking about that and I don't even know what I want, I just think of what other people think of what I'm doing.

For things like my Depression and Obsessive thoughts they are bad but those are like outside things that do lighten up or go away at times. It's so hard to fight my PD because they are a part of who I am and not just some passing thing.

I do things I enjoy but that becomes less and less because when I feel really bad there isn't much I enjoy. Plus I'm not doing things that I know in my heart are normal, I can think or do all sorts of things to try to cover up my weaknesses but I know humans are meant to spend time with each other, it's just not right for me to be alone so much and that all comes because of my illness. It tears me up to see people have social connections so easy and I can't do it at all.

Plus I haven't developed properly as a person, I would just cling on to other people's interests if it meant I could spend time with them. I would rather do something I didn't like with someone then something I liked alone.

Plus it's hard to work on not worrying about other peoples judgements because when you do that it turns people away from you because anyone who knows me knows I'm a flake and won't like it if I go against them.

ThatLady, I just curious about what symtoms you feel you had from both disorders. Here's a list of both I found online at Information You Can Trust + Find a Therapist under the American version.

Avoidant Personality Disorder

  • 1. avoids occupational activities that involve significant interpersonal contact, because of fears of criticism, disapproval, or rejection

    2. is unwilling to get involved with people unless certain of being liked

    3. shows restraint within intimate relationships because of the fear of being shamed or ridiculed

    4. is preoccupied with being criticized or rejected in social situations

    5. is inhibited in new interpersonal situations because of feelings of inadequacy

    6. views self as socially inept, personally unappealing, or inferior to others

    7. is unusually reluctant to take personal risks or to engage in any new activities because they may prove embarrassing[/list:u]

    Dependent Personality Disorder
    • 1. has difficulty making everyday decisions without an excessive amount of advice and reassurance from others

      2. needs others to assume responsibility for most major areas of his or her life

      3. has difficulty expressing disagreement with others because of fear of loss of support or approval. Note: Do not include realistic fears of retribution.

      4. has difficulty initiating projects or doing things on his or her own (because of a lack of self-confidence in judgment or abilities rather than a lack of motivation or energy)

      5. goes to excessive lengths to obtain nurturance and support from others, to the point of volunteering to do things that are unpleasant

      6. feels uncomfortable or helpless when alone because of exaggerated fears of being unable to care for himself or herself

      7. urgently seeks another relationship as a source of care and support when a close relationship ends

      8. is unrealistically preoccupied with fears of being left to take care of himself or herself [/list:u]

      Also I was wondering if you took any classes that have taught you normal social behaviour and how many years you had the disorders until you felt you overcame them?

      Don't feel pressured to answer any of my questions if you don't want to.


I just feel so frustrated that the very way I would love to act and treat people I can't. I know how I would want to do some things But my brain just refuses to co-operate. I hate the feeling of weekness next to people I hate being dragged down by my lack of Self-esteem and confidence. And I hate not being able to build it up. I hate having my life sucked away without anything to show for it. I hate watching my dreams die. I hate seeing other people get recognition for things so so so much easier then what I'm going thru yet I get almost none. I hate not being able to connect to people. I hate being critisized or minimized and having it bother me so much, how do I believe in myself whether I'm right or wrong like others do.

At least prisoners who get put in solitary have commited a crime, what the heck did I do.


In answer to your question, hon, I could have answered yes to every statement in each listing. I was a bloody mess, to put it simply.

I suffered from these problems for nearly 20 years. It was therapy and determination that brought me through. A darned good therapist and a lot of hard work on my part. I had to change the way I thought about things. It's not easy, but it CAN be done. Just don't give up.


Thanks for those answers.

It's funny I always thought that if I had contact with someone with these PD I'd really connect with what they said but after reading the way you talk about your struggles with it I get the feeling it effects me in a much different way. It's hard for me to explain but I don't feel the connection the same way I do as when, for instance, I read about other peoples posts about depression.

Anyway thanks for the encouragement, and I encourage you to keep doing whatever it is that works for you.


When I feel bad my favorite emotion is anger, I love to feel anger because it feels so freeing. When I am truely angry is the only time I can disagree with people, I don't feel shackled by the opression in my brain about what other people think of me. When I'm angry I am in the moment not worrying about the future, if something pisses me off I let people know I don't bottle it in, I feel empowered when I'm angry, I wish I could be angry every day. It is truely a horrible curse to not be able to handle disapproval as a way of life. I see how nervous people get when they are about to be married or are going after the big job they have been after their entire life and I think wow, they only have to feel like that on those rare occasions, I feel like that everytime I'm around anybody.

I just want to turn off the switch in my brain that worries about what people think. Why can't I focus on myself.


Life feels so empty, I don't have anyone I connect with and I don't see how I'm ever gonna have anyone. Why bother doing anything when I don't enjoy what I'm doing and I have no one to give me social motivation or to release my feelings to and I never will. Why can't I be someone that is social. Why do I get hurt so easily, why can't I just accept other people saying negative things about me, why do those words hurt me so much. Why can't I let things roll off my back, I really want to but I can't.

I wish I could find someone else with Dependant Personality Disorder and we could depende on each other, I really wish I could clone myself so I could have someone that would give me company and would really understand the way I feel.



I don't know if I have DPD but I definitely suffer with a lot of those points.

I just realised yesterday when making a coffee for a builder working in our house, that I'm worried I'm not making the coffee well, and he'll think, "she can't even make a decent coffee". I was thinking, he wanted 2 sugars, full-fat milk, I'd gotten all the details, yet I was still feeling upset that I was sure my coffee was no good. What if my teaspoon is smaller than the average size teaspoon and ends up being more like 1 spoon of sugar, and it won't be sweet enough... and a hundred other stupid worries. And I only then realised that I always hated making coffees for people in the past because of this underlying feeling that my coffees aren't good enough.

And then I realised how pathetic I was being. And I hate myself for being pathetic. How wrong can you go with a coffee already?!?!?! The builder probably drank it up without thinking about whether I'm a capable woman or helpless looser... he probably just drank it and carried on with his work.

I try to remind myself the whole time that I am the one who's most interested in myself. Most people don't think so much into things, and don't give so much time to thinking about what I did or didn't say or do.

Anyway, I wanted to say that I really identify with you, with your low self-esteem (which is a huge problem of mine) and your loneliness. (another problem altho not so bad any more.) I've only had close friends for 3 or 4 years, until then I was a complete loner. It really is sooooo much better to have at least one person you can talk to, one person whom you can be yourself with. And I'd love to be your virtual friend on this site, or we could pm if you wanted... until you find yourself a real-life friend. I really do feel for you. And I also have many of the same problems. I also get hurt far too much, and allow myself to get much too upset. At times my life feels completely empty. And I just eat and eat and eat to fill myself up and loose those horrible feelings. But of course food never really takes them away.

One of my close friends also doesn't have any other friends besides me and I'm talking her through all the stages of making a new friend... we could do that together too if you wanted. My friend says I'm really helping her!!! (altho she still hasn't quite plucked up teh courage to ask this person to meet for a coffee...)

Another point: I think the reason you can't connect with ThatLady so much, is possibly because, even though she says she had it, she's beyond it now, and she's so positive and upbeat... And you think "Well, she couldn't have had it so badly then," or "she didn't have it like I have it" coz it seems to impossible to you to overcome. And she overcame it. So it's hard to connect with that. Sometimes when I talk about some depressing things in my life and my friend responds too positively I come out more depressed coz I wanted her empathy more than her encouragement.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Sometimes people don't return to the forum; others will be away for a while and then return weeks or months later. But even if RBM doesn't see your post, others in a similar situation will benefit, even if they remain anonymous readers and never register here.


Heh. You're not the only one with a coffee complex, or its equivalent, Lost. I can remember worrying myself silly over any number of unimportant nuances every time I tried to do something for someone else. I wanted so much to please, and was so very afraid that nothing I did would be right, or good enough. With therapy, work, and time...those feelings pass. :)

Another thing I probably should mention is that much of my healing came after my daughter was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. I learned much from her, and learned that there were others far more afflicted than I. If they could do it, I certainly could! Watching her battle her demons made mine seem tame by comparison.


(everyone's laughing these days!!!)

If you're trying to make me feel grateful that I only suffer from .... whatever-it-is, from the little I've read about bipolar disorder I think I've got that one too!
I have huge mood swings; going from thinking that life is just not worth living, and feeling alone and too much in pain to want to do anything, to feeling on top of the world, so blessed, so grateful to be me, and happy to be alive... (the latter moods of course occur much less frequently.) And there is a lot of general numb feeling too, more of the numbness these days I think than the swings. ( I don't even know what / how I'm feeling most of the time.) these days I'm just plodding through...

And with me everything is compounded by my lying to myself for so many years and building up this whole thought system and my whole character based on my false beliefs of who I was... which are all wrong - the beliefs that is. I'm the opposite of the person I want to be, and the person I thought I was. so not only am I battling the demons of the disorders that I have, I'm battling myself to accept who I really am, before I even get to the real battle.
K. enough about battling for now I think.

At least I'm not going off topic on this one since 'feeling crappy' is quite a generic title!!!


You have no idea what a relief it is to hear that RBM. I constantly worry about what ppl think of me, and I know its stupid but that doesn't stop me. I try my hardest to distract myself with other thoughts, but it doesn't work. I actually have all those symptoms, and at least 3 other physical symptoms that I can think of. I realise how liberating it is to vent out in anger, and I actually scream at myself and do a lot of negative damning self-talk, but try to even it out later with positive talk. What scares me the most is that the negative self-talk is so automatic that I can't control it sometimes. I'm in the same situation, with no friends and ppl who don't understand me, including my parents.

I've tried meditation and a few self-help programs to boost my confidence, but I usually feel so angry but I bottle myself and my anger up. I've stopped doing the things I should be doing and avoid ppl as much as possible, coz if I do I end up crying. There was a period when I'd do this everyday, and I do still shed a few tears everyday. I know its totally unreasonable, but I feel like everyone's so mean and judgemental. Of course I do realise that the more I'm conscious of this, the more I'm inviting attacks. I don't know what to do anymore, and I have vivid thoughts of ending my life everyday.

I am in awe of ThatLady's fight for 20 years in this regard. I'm 22 atm, and I doubt I'll last around that long the rate I'm going. I feel like my troubles are deeper than the coffee complex and I question my existence and purpose and feel helpless every single day. I don't know what to do anymore, and the councellors I've seen have just told me to get a good night's sleep, eat the right foods and drink lots of water and exercise. It's not like I don't do those things...What is wrong with me?


Don't minimize my troubles please!!!! My coffee complex is only one of a trillion! My issues are also far deeper than that, although I'm not suffering with exactly the same thing as you.

Anyway, firstly I wanted to say that life can really be not worth living, when all you know is constant criticism and worry, and you have no friends or anyone to open up to. Especially when you are your own worst enemy. And that's why we have to really find you someone to talk to, someone who could be your friend. That's a really important step. I'm happy to be your virtual friend till we find you a real-life, same-country friend.

Secondly, you should try and realise, that though life can be cruel and painful, and there are many unpleasant, mean and judgemental people populating the world, there is also so much good out there. So many kind, caring and loving people. I think you've been mixing with the wrong crowd!
Another point to consider, is that people are very different, and may appear to be cross or disappointed with you, when really that's just the way their face is made, or you could be speculating and worrying too much about how you're interacting with them.

Maybe you have too much free time, and I know from myself, when I'm not busy I get really depressed, I start reading into things that happen far too much, and I really make myself ill worrying what he thought, and what she thought, and what I should have said... maybe you should think about what you'd like to do... maybe volunteer in a children's hospital, or any charity, once or twice a week, and try to get involved with something that you'll be proud of, something that will make you feel GOOD. Because your life has a purpose, and you have so much potential. You can walk, talk / type, do, shop, etc... What are your strengths?
Come on! It's not like you're living in a communist regime...
Don't live your life in your own home-made prison. (like I often do...) (I'm talking to myself here as well.)
Also ask around. Maybe there's a support group for people suffering like you are...?
Or maybe there's a child somewhere who would love to have your attention once a week, say, to help him with his reading, and you could like mentor him.

You never what tomorrow will bring. Maybe you'll meet and marry a millionaire and become a world-famous charity organiser for people suffering with DPD and other mental issues!

I was at rock bottom for a long long time, and I'm so grateful I made it through and didn't just end it when it was all too painful. Coz now I've seen the good in life as well as the bad. And trust me my life is far from being all fine and dandy, but I'm aware that there's good too. I've achieved stuff that I would never have dreamed of before and now I feel that life has even more worth because I have my own achievements to encourage me and motivate me.
But you've only seen the bad in life. You've gotta give yourself the chance to enjoy life as well. YOU CAN enjoy life. you don't have to live the way you've been living until now. You can choose how you want to live. You can carry on being angry with yourself and making yourself miserable, or you could try and change things! and don't think nothing will ever change. because the only thing that's guaranteed in life is CHANGE! (...and death, and taxes, but anyway...) And you don't even know who the wonderful person is inside you, because you're too busy talking negatively to yourself, and hating yourself, and worrying...


I'm deeply sorry Lost, I didn't mean to minimise ur problems, and yeah everything in the post made sense =) I realise that your problems are deeper than that, and I guess if you worry about everything like that it'd drive you crazy! I'm sorry I was out of line...

I'm so glad I posted there, and that you've replied. It's a bit like self-therapy isn't it. Thanks heaps, I've actually done a few things and I feel so much better's my list:
- Sleep until you're well rested
- Have a good laugh, and even force yourself to smile if you can't
- Do a coupla stretches whenever you feel life's getting you down
- Breathe deeply in and out a few times.
- Meditate or concentrate on nothing for a while.
- Listen to some good music and sing along at your highest voice.

If you're feeling really bad or critisizing yourself
- Think about why you're feeling the way you are and sit in a corner and search for the answer...coz even if you don't find the answer and it's in your unconscious, you'd feel so much better.
I actually find it better to bring out pen and paper and write down why I feel bad and I answer it. Sometimes I talk it out loud.
Here's an example script:
What's wrong with you?
I don't know
Why don't you know?
Coz I feel fine.
How can you change?
By being positive.
How can you be positive?
By thinking positive and happy thoughts.
Can you do that?
Yes I can
...and so on. Those Q and A's just came out automatically. I didn't even have to think about it. Usually after that I sit in a corner and focus on why I feel that way and what was previously bothering me disappears even though I don't always find an answer.
- Have a goal and focus on winning, and get there! or do your personal best until you're happy with it. It keeps you focused, and you tend to forget about what ppl think of you and feel more confident.

I often tend to forget about the good out there, and I guess that's what gets to me most...Thank you so much :) That post has made me feel better. You've got just as much to live for and I hope you're happy too =)
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