finally revealed: the difference between SA and AVPD - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-13-2010, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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finally revealed: the difference between SA and AVPD


avoidant personality disorder (avpd) is charactorized by pervasive behavioural, emotional and cognitive avoidance.

SOCIAL AVOIDANCE:

an avoidant's fears of social situation evolve around fears of criticism, rejection and ridicule, feelings of inadequacy and the veiw that the self is socially inept or inferior to others.
the manifestation of these fears is usually a result of repeated criticism, ridicule and rejection, in early childhood, from significant others such as peers or parents or both. avoidants beleive that becasue they were rejected, ridiculed and criticised that they are somehow not good enough, not likeable and that they are somehow bad. therefore they have an expectation that all other people will see that they are bad, inferior, unloveable etc... and that they will reject them because of this. this results in the assumption that exposure of the ''real self'' to others or assertive self expression will be met with rejection.

For avoidants it seems dangerous to be in positions were they can be evaluated because their perception of negative or even neutral reactions from others confirms beleifs that they are unlikeable. an avoidants self concious feelings, that are frequently experienced in social situations, is more to do with trying ones best to not express the self or to reveal any part of the real self or to do anything wrong that would result in rejection, ridicule or criticism from others, unlike social phobics who are self concious because they are trying to prevent other people from noticing their physical symptoms of anxiety like blushing, shaking, sweating etc....

An avoidant's social avoidance is usually apparent. less obvious is their cognitive and emotional avoidance, in which they avoid thinking about things that lead to dyphoric feelings. their low tolerance for dyphoria also leads them to distract themselves behaviourally from negative cognitions.

COGNITIVE, BEHAVIOURAL AND EMOTIONAL AVOIDANCE

(DYSPHORIA means any negative emotion or uncomfortable feelings e.g anxiety, sadness, irritation, boredom etc....)

Avoidants have a low threshold for dysphoric emotions therefore they avoid any activity that makes them feel uncomfortable. they even avoid thinking about anything that produces dysphoric emotions.
the reason for an avoidants low threshold for dysphoria is usually becasue they hold beleifs that unpleasant thoughts or emotions are intorable ''i can't handle strong feelings'' ''it's bad to feel bad'' ''if i let my feelings become unbottled i'll be overwhelmed'' etc...
the reason for these beleifs usually stems from the person's childhood, a time when these beleifs were relevant i.e a young child experiening all kinds of negative emotions such as rejection, ridicule, worthlesness etc... would obviously be expected to beleive that they cannot handle such things at a young age.

whenever an avoidant begins to feel dysphoric or even begins to have a cognition that will produce a dysphoric emotion they will do something to distract themselves and make them feel better. they may discontinue a task or fail to initiate a task they had planned to do. they may turn on the tv, reach for food or a cigarette, read a book, get up and pace up and down etc... they seek a diversion to push away the uncomfortable thoughts and feelings. in therapy when a therapist is trying to elicit the avoidant patients thoughts and uncomfortable feelings stemming from the avoidants beleifs, patients frequently ''shut down'' by changing the subject, standing up and walking around, or reporting that their minds have ''gone blank''.
this patern of cognitive and behavioural avoidance is reiforced by a reduction in dysphoria and so it eventually becomes ingrained and automatic.

CONCLUSION

Avoidant patients hold deep seated negative beleifs about themselves, others, and unpleasant emotional experiences. these beleifs often stem from childhood interactions with rejecting and critical significant persons. they see themselves as inadequate and worthless, others as critical and rejecting, and dysphoric emotions as overwhelming and intorerable.

socially they avoid situations in which other people could get close and discover the ''real'' them.
behaviourally they avoid tasks that would engender thoughts that make them feel uncomfortable.
cognitively they avoid thinking about matters that produce dysphoria. their tolerance for discomfort is low, and they rely on distractions whenever they begin to feel anxious, sad or bored
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post #2 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-13-2010, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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there are a lot of similarities between SA and AVPD but there is also a significant difference

similarities

social phobics and avoidants both fear social situations
social phobics and avoidants both feel self concious in social situations
social phobics and avoidants both use safety behaviours in social situations
social phobics and avoidants both avoid social situations

differences

*social phobics may only fear one or a few social situations were as avoidants fear every situation to some degree. even situations that they can torelate they are never truly comfortable in them
*even if the social phobia is the generalized type its still not as generalized as avpd because avpd covers everything from situation to self
*social phobics fear social situations for different reason than the avoidant fears them
*social phobics fear social situations becasue they fear being judged or evaluated negatively by others and they also worry that they will have a panic attack or that they will show physical symptoms such as blushing, shaking etc... wich will prove to be embarrassing
*avoidants fear social situations because they are worried that their real self will be exposed and they they will be rejected as a result of it
*social phobia is to do with fears about performing socially were as avoidant personality disorder is to do with fears about the self and about who you are as a person
*social phobics feel self concious in social situations becasue they are trying to prevent people noticing their symptoms such as blushing, shaking etc...
*avoidants are self concious in social situations cos they are preocupied with trying to hide their real selves, and doing their best not to lose themselves in the moment incase a part of their real self is reveal and that they will be rejected cos their real self is not acceptable
*social phobics safety behaviours are designed to hide physical symptoms of anxiety
*avoidant's saftey behaviours are designed to hide the real self
*avoidants also scan their environment in social situations looking for signs of rejection, ridicule and disaproval from others
*social phobics avoid social situations becasue of fears of having a panic attack or showing signs of anxiety or being embarrased
*avoidants also avoid social situations because of fears of being embarrassed but also becasue of fears of revelaing their selves and being rejected
*low self esteem goes hand in hand with avpd. avoidants have a low sense of self worth and beleive they are inferior and worthless
*social phobics dont nessecarily have low self worth. some might , some might not. social phobia is an anxiety disorder that is seperate to self worth. self worth may become an issue later on due to years of isolation but its a seperate issue to the actaull anxiety. the anxiety may be the casue of it but that doesnt make the slef worth a part of the anxiety
*avoidants not only avoid feared social situations but they also avoid negative feelings and even negative thoughts. they have a low threshold for discomfort/dysphoria. avoidants frequently procrastinate with even trivial everyday tasks such as getting out of bed, starting an exercise regime, brushing their teeth etc... this is not a feature of social anxiety
*social phobia is a fear of situations
*avpd is also a fear of situation but more so a fear of revealing the self
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post #3 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-13-2010, 04:44 PM
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Hey Donovan, well done man that's an excellent side by side comparision of the difference. (Though no doubt someone will start a post next week saying "Hey is there any difference between SA and AvPD? They seem the same to me.") I was trying to illustrate a lot of these points in my post in the other discussion.

It's kind of liberating and even empowering to understand this much about yourself. You can see that the things you've done in your life that bother you, (or probably more accurately, the things you havn't done), are not your fault. You can stop blaming yourself or telling yourself you are not a good person or lazy or whatever, and start doing something about it. One day at a time.
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post #4 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-13-2010, 04:58 PM
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Thanks Donavan, I've done a lot of reading about the differences, and this is probably the best comparison I've seen. I'm definitely an avoidant. This helps me to understand why there are so many situations were my physical anxiety level is low but I'm still afraid and still can't talk or do things. I'm really good at all the kinds of avoidance, haha.

It just sucks because you always hear about personality disorders being lifelong. Great, I'm going to have to suffer with this the rest of my life

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post #5 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-13-2010, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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after discovering the differences and similarities between social phobia and avpd i now realize that i have both of these disoders together

ive had avpd since i was 5 years old. i started off my life as a fairly shy child becasue i was born into a family were most of them were shy and some even had social anxiety themselves. i also beleive i inheretited a few shy genes.
then when i was about 4 1/2 i just went through this drastic spell of misary were i encountered negative experience after negative experiecne of rejection, ridicule, criticism and disaproval from the people who were meant to be closest to me and who were meant to love and accept me. every single experience was highly emotionally charged and overwhelming and there must have been about ten of them in a row that seemed to happen in such a short space of time between age 4 1/2 to age 5.

i remeber after that period i just felt lost. i felt like id been clobbered from pillar to post and i didnt know what to do. thats when i must have developed the beleifs that i couldnt handle negative emotions becasue after that i became really lazy. i started procrastinating everything. even when id get out of the shower id just sit there with a towel round me and wait for 20 mins to actaully start rubbing myself dry cos i simply couldnt be bothered cos the cold was too uncomfortable.
from the age of 5 onwards my life was a nightmare. i avoided everything, i just wanted to be on my own all of the time. when i was around people i didnt really feel panic symptoms, ive never had a panic attack in my live and i never used to show signs of anxiety like blushing or anything. i used to just feel really vulnerable and overwhelmed and i would feel really weird and sort of spaced out sort of thing. i did feel anxious too but it was never to the point of panic and there was never any physical symptoms.

growing up i always knew i was odd and different but i just thought that was who i was and thast was my personality. i just thought i was weird and miserable. i never used to like myself at all, i thought everyone was better than me. i never actaully realised that i had a problem that could be changed.

looking back now i can see that i developed social phobia when i was 18. it was around that time that i started blushing frequently. it got out of control and would happen everywere i went. i started to escape sitauation when i felt myself about to blush. i started taking ecstacy every week when i was about 17 so maybe that is what casued the blushing and social phobia
i also developed agoraphobia when i was 18 too. i was a victim in a nightclub incident that shook me up. after that i feared for my safety in situations

it was actually a holiday in aiya napa when i was 18 that made me realise i had a problem. the holiday was spent frequently trying to hide my blushes from people and frequently running from nightclubs back to the safety of my hotel out of a fear for my safety. i remeber being unwilling to attend a booze cruise that i had already paid for becasue i knew if i was on the ship i wouldnt have access of a safe haven to retreat to, like the hotel, if i began to feel unsecure

after the holiday i said to myself ''i cant live like this. somethings not right. everyone else my age had a ball out there and i missed out . i need help''
from that day forward i began looking for help, asked my doctor for meds and a counselling session.
one day i was reading a newspaper about paul mckenna who was curing this womans social phobia so she could attend her wedding day. after reading about all the trouble see faced it sounded exactly like the troubles i had in my on life, so i began thinking maybe ive got social phobia

i went to a bookstore in town and purchased gillian butlers overcoming sa book. that was hard enough. i felt so embarassed buying it that i almost put the book down and ran out of the store. stupid really i havent got a probelm buying anything like that now years later. reading the book made me feel so much better. it desribed me too a tee and i realised 2 things 1)im not wierd or odd , there are millions of people like me out there going through the same thing 2) i can change

from then on i went to see lots of hypnotherapists, counsellors, psychiatrists etc... and took meds but nothing worked mainly becase of a combination of them being useless and me being unwilling to take action
anyway i began printed pages and pages of information off the internet about social phobia and agoraphobia and how to overcome them. and i bought myself loads of books about nlp and hypnosis and i promised myself that i would read all of them and create a plan to finally overcome this problem and change my life .
but i always found myself procrastinating. i was just so lazy. id been that way since as long as i could remmeber. id begin reading and then next minute id say right im going to watch tv or im going the pub (i could handle the pub as long as i was pissed) and ill just do it next week

anyway 3 years past from the age 18-21 and i still hadnt read the books or the information or created a plan to change , never mind actaully took action to face my fears. i now realize why. its becasue im avpd and i have a low tolerance for dysphoria. id wasted those 3 years going out to pubs and clubs and getting pissed out of my skull and taking ecstacy so i could drown out my agoraphobia and sa enough to enjoy myslef a tiny bit. most nights id still find myself hiding in the toilet cubicle in clubs , or running back to the safety of the local pub or my house.

anyway at the age of 21 i lost touch with everyone and became a full time hermit. my mates never really like me anyway and it was inevitable that we'd eventaully drift apart. so apart from my 9-5 job i was stuck at home 24/7 with nowere to go and no excuse not to read my books and and create a plan to change my life. i actually purchased some more books during that time . kabbalh books and personality disorder books.
even though id knew since 18 that i was social and agoraphobic i still felt like something was missing. i couldnt explain why i was so lazy or why i used to fantasize all of the time or why i looked so young or why i felt like i couldnt expresse myself. i told my doctor about these concerns and i think it was him that mentioned personality disorders. it was then that i found out about avoidant personality disorder and i realized the description fitted me even more than sa. that really made my day and finally made me understand everything.
i didnt come across the dysphoria thing back then therefore i still just thought i was lazy

from the age of 21-23 , 2 years i finally managed to read all of my books simply becasue i had so much time on my hands. i still wasted a lot of that time procrstinating and watching tv but it took me 2 years to read the books.
when i was 23 i was on cloud 9. i understood everything about myself and my past and i no longer hated myself. i knew exactly how to change. i had created a plan in my head of how to change using kabbalah, cbt, nlp and hypnosis and id actually met someone who had achieved what i wanted to achieve, he'd transformed himself from a shy stammerer to a confident man.

so i was 23 and i was ready . all i had to do was take action and face my fears but i kept putting it off and putting it off. im 27 now , im been procrastinating starting my life for 4 [email protected] years , how crazy is that? and its not from a lack of motivation or a lack of desire. i want to change , im willing to do anything , ive got motivation but for some reason i just cant seem to take action, i always, always , always put things off. i hated myslef for the last 4 years cos ive felt so guilty for wasting so much time. i keep calling myself a lazy [email protected]

but now i know why im so ''lazy''. its becasue avoidants avoid uncomfortable feelings and even uncomfortable thoughts. it makes sense now cos i remember in the past trying to use cbt to uncover my irrational beleifs but everytime i tried to do it my mind just went blank and i got irritated and felt the need to just go and watch tv. it was driving me round the bend and up the wall, i just couldnt understand why i couldnt do it. but now i know why

all i have to do is get rid of these irrational beleifs that i have about not being able to handle dysphoirc emotions. and i know exactly how to do that. so i am so optimistic about my future. i know im late to start my life cos im 27 but i dont care , im just happy to be alive and actaully have the chance to change my life. all of the avoidants from history didnt have a chance like we do. there was no cbt or therapy back then , hell there was not even a recognision of the existance on avpd. ive missed out on 27 years but im just so gratefull that ive got the chance to make the most of the rest of my years cos thats a chance that past avoidants did not have. im just grateful to have the chance to start my life now wether it be late or not. i would have prefered sooner but ill take later.

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER !!!!!
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post #6 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-13-2010, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Hey Donovan, well done man that's an excellent side by side comparision of the difference. (Though no doubt someone will start a post next week saying "Hey is there any difference between SA and AvPD? They seem the same to me.") I was trying to illustrate a lot of these points in my post in the other discussion.

It's kind of liberating and even empowering to understand this much about yourself. You can see that the things you've done in your life that bother you, (or probably more accurately, the things you havn't done), are not your fault. You can stop blaming yourself or telling yourself you are not a good person or lazy or whatever, and start doing something about it. One day at a time.
exactly. i feel fantastic after making these relevations. things are just looking good
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post #7 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-13-2010, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Donovan, I've done a lot of reading about the differences, and this is probably the best comparison I've seen. I'm definitely an avoidant. This helps me to understand why there are so many situations were my physical anxiety level is low but I'm still afraid and still can't talk or do things. I'm really good at all the kinds of avoidance, haha.

It just sucks because you always hear about personality disorders being lifelong. Great, I'm going to have to suffer with this the rest of my life
na man you can change its just gonna take a lot more time. you learnt to be avoidant so you can learn to be non avoidant
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post #8 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-13-2010, 05:58 PM
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Great story Donovan, I was really sad to hear about your childhood experiences in particular. I did not have it that bad. Glad you're now optimistic, one day at a time man. And by the way, 27? You're still young.

I myself see it as about accepting myself for who I am. You can't make someone ditch their personality and replace it with a new one. But I feel like my sub-conscious has been BS-ing me my whole life without me having a clue. But now I do have a clue, now I'm not buying it. I can't change who I am, but I now that I actually understand who I am, I will decide what I am.
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post #9 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-13-2010, 06:38 PM
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Great comparison, Donavan - I'm definitely AvPD based on that as well. And I've also done the procrastinating, avoiding feeling these things. I always tried to intellectualize my way out of my problems, or just use willpower, but they never worked. So I wound up just numbing myself out for long stretches of time (years), avoiding everything entirely.

But the therapy I've been doing since last year (psychodynamic) is more about facing these feelings, especially the ones from childhood. That's where all this stuff started. And those feelings are still there, if you force yourself to confront them. The idea is that if you haven't processed those feelings, they're still ****ing you up.

I feel less worthless now, after actually FEELING these things which I kept avoiding. All this loneliness, and frustration, and sadness, and grief from childhood. They were all just repressed out of conscious awareness. Part of it is the idea of mourning what you lost in childhood. And part of it is allowing yourself to feel things, instead of trying to force yourself through life like a dead person, which is what I've always had to do.

And as I get more in touch with my own emotions, it becomes easier to interact with other people, and things are so much less stressful, because I can relate to them better. There's just more of a connection with people, especially in person. It's quite a different approach than CBT, which tries to get you to realize that you're misinterpreting people's reactions to you. That does happen as well, but fundamentally I think it's these repressed emotions which always screwed up my interactions with people, which caused them to reject me or look at me weirdly, which then gave me social anxiety.

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It just sucks because you always hear about personality disorders being lifelong. Great, I'm going to have to suffer with this the rest of my life
No, you don't!

And they've made a lot of progress against Borderline Personality Disorder recently, for instance, with Dialectical Behavior Therapy.

"Sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose, or paint can manage to escape the madness, the melancholia, the panic and fear, which is inherent in the human condition." ~ Graham Greene

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Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
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post #10 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-13-2010, 06:58 PM
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bravo!! seriously. i have to remind myself of this often-- not a ship tossing about at sea but a decision to be better daily, to at least try!
That's right anymouse, just try instead of not trying. And see how that makes you feel inside.
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post #11 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-13-2010, 07:29 PM
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Thanks Donavan, that's a great write up on the comparison. Good to get a clear distinction.
Based on that, I am definitely both, but I think the avoidant part of my brain is the biggest problem. Now the trick is to fix it...but will never happen

All glory to the Hypnotoad!
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post #12 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-13-2010, 07:30 PM
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thank you..

you really should be a counselor, you know.

have you looked up joinmartin yet? he's one in training.

Thank YOU! I have thought about that... But thinking about it didn't seem to make it happen... I wonder why...
I will talk to him sometime.
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post #13 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-13-2010, 10:06 PM
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thanks for the explanation. going by that, i think i fit the criteria for AvPD better. i fit the criteria for AvPD perfectly i should say. i know all about hiding the real self and the low tolerance for dysphoria. i just don't feel like my real thoughts and feelings are socially acceptable a lot of the time. can't i be right about that?
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post #14 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-13-2010, 10:07 PM
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Yes, thank you Donovan for the comparison of the two disorders, I always thought they were basically the same thing, I thought that if you had social anxiety then that meant you had AVPD as well because I thought that AVPD was just about the simple act of avoiding stuff-I didn't realize that AVPD was about avoiding stuff because of fear that your true self would be rejected- but by that definition, I have AVPD!, in addition to the social anxiety! wow


-this is such a relief, it explains a lot of why I am the way that I am, the whole rejection of true self thing is something that I realized a few years ago but I just thought that it was an extension of the social anxiety, and the putting off of trivial things, and the avoidance of negative feelings, all that fits, and I'd always thought it was just me

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People move the way that they move cuz they’re still working out some **** with their fathers! They’re still pissed at their mothers for not potty training them properly, **** like that, People want to get back @ their parents for making them be born."
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post #15 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-14-2010, 03:35 AM Thread Starter
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Great story Donovan, I was really sad to hear about your childhood experiences in particular. I did not have it that bad. Glad you're now optimistic, one day at a time man. And by the way, 27? You're still young.

I myself see it as about accepting myself for who I am. You can't make someone ditch their personality and replace it with a new one. But I feel like my sub-conscious has been BS-ing me my whole life without me having a clue. But now I do have a clue, now I'm not buying it. I can't change who I am, but I now that I actually understand who I am, I will decide what I am.
thanks. yes the childhood was bad but im actaully grateful for it now, theres no hard feelings about it. there is a great poem ive got somewhere, ill try and find it and post it on here. its about a peapot or a vase or something and the moral of it is that at the beginning when its was getting made it kept getting tossed and turned everywere and then thrown in some oven heated sort of thing and it kept saying stop , stop and then one day it looked in the mirror and realized how beautiful it was and that all of that pain in the beginning had actually shaped what it was today. so that pretty much sums up my own attitude about my life right now, its all good

yer your right 27 is still young. 27 is young for anyone but especially someone like me who looks 17, and acts 17 and has the same desires as a 17 year. i can definately make up for all of my lost years and i have no probelm or shame hanging out with people younger than myself so that i can experience the things that they do

im a bit different to you in the sense that i beleive i can completely change my personality. i mean i learnt to be the way i am and ive got it down to a tee. if i can to do that surely i can learn to do something else
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post #16 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-14-2010, 05:38 AM
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post #17 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-14-2010, 05:51 AM
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im a bit different to you in the sense that i beleive i can completely change my personality. i mean i learnt to be the way i am and ive got it down to a tee. if i can to do that surely i can learn to do something else
I hope you're right man. But I can think of two things that you should think about carefully before you "completely change" your personality.

One is that you learnt to be the way you are subconsciously. And it's been in charge of that for 27 years. You're talking about trying to change your personality consciously. The sub is not going to like it. One thing I remember from studying psychology is that the personality is very resilient and resisitant to change. You could be setting yourself up for failure if it doesn't work. Thus frustration, depression, and making it worse.

Second, if you refuse to conceed defeat and try too hard to push this new person you want to be on your sub, you could end up with nasty identity confusion, and dissociative disorder type problems. That would be a bad thing.

I'm not saying this to be a downer I'm saying this out of real concern I would hate to see either of those things happen. If you're confident you know what you need to do then good for you and maybe your plan is perfect for you. I'm just saying be aware of those possibilities.

You just found this new way of thinking about yourself what, yesterday? Give it a couple of weeks at least to sink in and to eyeball that sub before you make your move. He's a damn tricky, resourceful son of a...

Or maybe you don't mean what I'm thinking when you say "completely change my personality". In which case this post was a big fat waste of time. God bless.
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post #18 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-14-2010, 06:34 AM
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Thanks donavan. Where did you find this information, or is this your own work? What sources did you use? If this information is correct, then my having AvPD instead of SAD is more clear than ever.
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post #19 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-14-2010, 07:40 AM
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I hope you're right man. But I can think of two things that you should think about carefully before you "completely change" your personality.

One is that you learnt to be the way you are subconsciously. And it's been in charge of that for 27 years. You're talking about trying to change your personality consciously. The sub is not going to like it. One thing I remember from studying psychology is that the personality is very resilient and resisitant to change. You could be setting yourself up for failure if it doesn't work. Thus frustration, depression, and making it worse.

Second, if you refuse to conceed defeat and try too hard to push this new person you want to be on your sub, you could end up with nasty identity confusion, and dissociative disorder type problems. That would be a bad thing.

I'm not saying this to be a downer I'm saying this out of real concern I would hate to see either of those things happen. If you're confident you know what you need to do then good for you and maybe your plan is perfect for you. I'm just saying be aware of those possibilities.

You just found this new way of thinking about yourself what, yesterday? Give it a couple of weeks at least to sink in and to eyeball that sub before you make your move. He's a damn tricky, resourceful son of a...

Or maybe you don't mean what I'm thinking when you say "completely change my personality". In which case this post was a big fat waste of time. God bless.
actually i think you have a valid point regardless of what donavan means. i don't want to be a downer either, which is why i didn't say anything earlier but i think a couple of people in this thread are a little over enthusiastic about these "new revelations". just because someone wrote down a good description of how you tend to behave and why, doesn't mean it's going to be any easier to change than it was before, especially if you were already very familiar with SAD and AvPD.

of course it's great to have enthusiasm and hope for the future, just try not to allow yourselves to get disappointed if you find things aren't any easier. i can't tell you how many times i've thought "aha! this is the revelation i've needed all these years that has been preventing me from realizing my potential. this is why i've been behaving this way" only to look back months and years later and realize that while there may have been small changes, it was really wasn't the saving grace i thought it was going to be.
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post #20 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-14-2010, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by stripe View Post
Thanks for the comparison donavan - very insightful and clearly explained.


Though there's one part that I don't really get. When outlining the differences it says "*social phobics fear social situations becasue they worry they will have a panic attack or that they will show physical symptoms such as blushing, shaking etc... wich will prove to be embarrassing"
I have never heard that this was the primary reason for the anxiety in social phobia. For me it is a fear of what other people are thinking, a fear of being judged, that causes the anxiety, not a fear of the anxiety itself.. I thought this was the norm for people with social anxiety, my psych seems to think it's typical. A fear of showing anxiety symptoms would be secondary to that of being judged.

Aside from that it makes absolute sense. What is its source?
A. A persistent fear of one or more social or performance situations in which the person is exposed to unfamiliar people or to possible scrutiny by others.
The individual fears that he or she will act in a way (or show anxiety symptoms) that will be embarrassing and humiliating.
B. Exposure to the feared situation almost invariably provokes anxiety, which may take the form of a situationally bound or situationally pre-disposed Panic Attack.
C. The person recognizes that this fear is unreasonable or excessive.
D. The feared situations are avoided or else are endured with intense anxiety and distress.
E. The avoidance, anxious anticipation, or distress in the feared social or performance situation(s) interferes significantly with the person's normal routine, occupational (academic) functioning, or social activities or relationships, or there is marked distress about having the phobia.
F. In individuals under age 18 years, the duration is at least 6 months.
G. The fear or avoidance is not due to direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., drugs, medications) or a general medical condition not better accounted for by another mental disorder...


point A explains about the physical symptoms


yer your right social phobics are scared that they are gonna be judged negatively by other people and that obviously does create anxiety in them and physical symptoms of anxiety. social phobics also fear the actual physical symptoms too. they fear that it will be embarrassing for if other people see the symptoms. and the actaul fear of the physical symptoms can and does create the actaul symptoms too cos when you are trying your hardest to prevent something from happening it usually happens
if youve ever experienced physical symptoms yourself such as blushing or shaking or whatever then im sure that you are aware that exposing these symptoms to others is one of your worst nightmares.

ive been in the barbers in the past waiting in a que to get my hair cut and ive felt myself about to blush so ive just got up and walked out without getting my hair cut cos the thought of other people noticeing my blushing was unbearable. then ive worried about going to the barbers again out of the fear that i will blush again



the source was mainly from aron t becks cognitive behavioural therapy for personality disorders books. ive put some of it into my own words but ive also quated beck word for word on a lot of the points. somebody posted a link on the other avpd thread were you can actaully read the book online. i think it was irma who posted the link
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