Skip to main content
Forums Home
Illustration of people sitting and standing

New here?

Chat with other people who 'Get it'

with health professionals in the background to make sure everything is safe and supportive.

Register

Have an account?
Login

cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Welcome & getting started

Am5
Casual Contributor

Avoidant personality disorder/ depression- seeking support and resources

Hi there, 

 

Sorry if this is long, this is my first time posting and I don't really know how this all works but wanted to share my story and seek support from people dealing with similar circumstances. I'm in the process of being diagnosed with an avoidant personality disorder and am just beginning to understand related behaviours and how much this disorder has impacted so many aspects of my life. Living with this has really prevented me from progressing through life, reaching milestones and achieving most goals. Worst of all, I am completely isolated, no friendships or connections and whilst I have family, our relationship isn't healthy/good. I experience depression more often than not and it’s very hard to feel motivated. I think the thing that stops me from doing most activities is my aversion to discomfort, I absolute loathe the feeling of discomfort even if its means growing as a person. I have a strong fear of being judged/ criticised, of failing, rejection, abandonment so I avoid any scenarios that could potentially cause this discomfort. Sometimes very minor scenarios like phone calls, going for a walk, going to the shops can cause such dread.

 

After hitting absolute rock bottom at the end of last year (quit job abruptly due to burnout/work related incident), I am finally at a stage where I'm ready to fight this and work hard to improve my situation. I’m incredibly scared and emotional because I'm going to be facing something I’ve always protected myself from and I also know that I have to do this alone. I started seeing a therapist in Dec last year which is going well, I'm nearly finished with Sane's guided support program but I’m looking for more support resources to guide me through this long process of recovery.

 

If anyone has any suggestions or knows of any support groups for my particular disorder, that would be amazing as I can't seem to find any in-person or online groups. Or if anyone has anything in general that has helped them deal with emotional regulation/ anxiety or depression, that would be great. 

 

Hope you’re all having a good day, thanks for taking the time to read 🙂

AM

 

 

9 REPLIES 9

Re: Avoidant personality disorder/ depression- seeking support and resources

Hi there @Am5 ,

 

Welcome to the forums! Thank you for sharing what's been going on for you. I can certainly relate to what you have shared. 

 

I have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, however, one of my strongest traits have been avoidance. Similar to you, I also felt I was at a standstill in life, only because I preferred to comforts of routine, and never delved into new or seemingly 'scary' or 'risky' things. So much so, I saw people around me moving forward, while I remained 'stuck', isolated and kept to myself. 

 

I also came to hit rock bottom where I pretty much had enough of life. I knew I wasn't progressing, and if anything, I felt I was only living to die. 

 

Amongst the various therapies I engaged in, in terms of avoidance, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) was one of the most helpful. This therapy teaches people to sit with unpleasantness, knowing that the feeling will soon pass.

 

The more I practiced doing things I naturally did not feel comfortable doing, the better I got at sitting with unpleasantness and working through the feelings. e.g, when someone made a negative comment, I would naturally prefer to retreat and hide under the blankets. However, now, I sit with it, and try to work through the comments with the person. If I can't do that, then I work through the comments in my own mind.

 

@Am5 , I just want you to know that there is hope.

 

Please feel free to ask any questions. We'd love to hear from you.

Re: Avoidant personality disorder/ depression- seeking support and resources

Hi @tyme ,

 

Thank you for your response and for sharing your experience too, I really appreciate it. 

It helps to hear that I'm not alone, I feel like I've been on the outskirts for so long but these forums/support services makes me feel more connected and human. I can absolutely relate to the feeling of being stuck and stagnant while I watch my life pass me by; just existing rather than truly living.

 

It's great that you found a form of therapy that has helped you work through avoidance, it seems like ACT would definitely help me too. I'm currently undergoing Schema Therapy and whilst it's been good for uncovering why I've developed certain behaviours/ unhealthy coping mechanisms, I'm really struggling with a lack of strategies to help me actively work on changing my behaviour and accept unpleasantness like you've mentioned. I think ACT would be really helpful in this sense so might be something to discuss with my therapist or perhaps seek out in a group setting or self guided setting. 

 

Thank you again 🙂

Re: Avoidant personality disorder/ depression- seeking support and resources

If you are a reader, a good start to ACT is probably the book, The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris. It makes so much sense. But it's even better if you have someone to work through and practice the skills with you @Am5 

 

If you look it up on youtube, you'll be able to see the various metaphors Russ Harris uses to explain our thoughts etc. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kv6HkipQcfA There are heaps of other ones you can watch too.

 

I also engaged in 18 months of Mentalisation Based Therapy, but I can't suggest that as it's so hard to find that sort of therapy in Australia at the moment. It was also very helpful, but more a long term therapy.

Re: Avoidant personality disorder/ depression- seeking support and resources

Thanks for the suggestions, I'll be sure to check them out @tyme 

 

 

Re: Avoidant personality disorder/ depression- seeking support and resources

Hi @Am5 

 

Just thought I'd check in and see how you are doing today.  What you were saying rang true for me aswell, I too would avoid people, situations and locations where I would feel uncomfortable.  It even got to a stage where I would put off doing the shop for groceries until I hadn't eaten for 3 days.  But I started doing Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and just talking with someone about my fears and being able to think in a different way about things has seen me progress into living a more natural life.  I would conjure up these irrational fears inside my head which had no basis at all, but the CBT got me to question myself about what was logical and what is not.  Anyways hope the above helps, thinking of you 🙂

Re: Avoidant personality disorder/ depression- seeking support and resources

How are you @Am5 ?

Re: Avoidant personality disorder/ depression- seeking support and resources

Hi @Asgard 

 

Thank you for sharing your experience, very similar indeed. Avoidance is such a hard habit to change, it’s great that you’ve been able shift your perspective through CBT. I’ve been trying really hard to challenge my negative thoughts lately and it’s helped to write them down, process them and put them to rest. Small steps but it’s a start 🙂 

Re: Avoidant personality disorder/ depression- seeking support and resources

Hi @tyme 


Thanks for checking in, I’m not bad. Have had a bit of a stressful past couple of days but taking it one day at a time. 

Hope you’re well

Re: Avoidant personality disorder/ depression- seeking support and resources

Thinking of you @Am5 . Yes, it's one day at a time. 

Illustration of people sitting and standing

New here?

Chat with other people who 'Get it'

with health professionals in the background to make sure everything is safe and supportive.

Register

Have an account?
Login

Further information:

  • Loading...

For urgent assistance