What is a case study of avoidant personality disorder?

Updated: Nov 12, 2019
  • Author: David C Rettew, MD; Chief Editor: Caroly Pataki, MD  more...
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A 35-year-old computer programmer presents for treatment at the urging of his new girlfriend whom he met online. He describes himself as being painfully shy since childhood. There is no history of language delay, odd interests, or unawareness of social cues. On the contrary, he tends to overinterpret cues, believing that he is being negatively viewed by others. He has always had difficulty forming close friendships, not because of a lack of desire but because of an intense fear of rejection and disapproval. He endured adolescence with difficulty as his self-esteem dropped. In college, he became absorbed in his studies and avoided most social encounters because they were so difficult for him. After graduation, he looked for work that would minimize social interaction and opportunities to be judged by others. He did manage to meet his current girlfriend through a social networking website but she complains that he does not relate to her in an intimate manner.

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