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Avoidant personality disorder

Avoidant personality disorder is a pervasive pattern of social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy, and extreme sensitivity to negative evaluation. People with avoidant personality disorder consider themselves to be socially inept or personally unappealing, and avoid social interaction for fear of being ridiculed or humiliated.

Research suggests that people with avoidant personality disorder, in common with social phobics, excessively monitor their own internal reactions when they are involved in social interaction. However, unlike social phobics they also excessively monitor the reactions of the people with whom they are interacting. The extreme tension created by this monitoring may account for the hesitant speech and taciturnity of many people with avoidant personality disorder ? they are so preoccupied with monitoring themselves and others that producing fluent speech is difficult.

Avoidant personality disorder usually is first noticed in early adulthood, and is associated with rejection during childhood by parents and peers. Whether the rejection is due to the extreme interpersonal monitoring attributed to people with the disorder is still an open question.

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