What is the pathophysiology of avoidant personality disorder?

Updated: Nov 12, 2019
  • Author: David C Rettew, MD; Chief Editor: Caroly Pataki, MD  more...
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Answer

Avoidant personality disorder is closely linked to a person's temperament. Approximately 10% of toddlers have been found to be habitually fearful and withdrawn when exposed to new people and situations. This trait appears to be stable over time. Social anxiety is hypothesized to involve the amygdala and its connections. Dysregulation in the brain's dopamine system has also been found to be associated with adult social anxiety disorder. Some of the genes related to the personality trait of introversion, such as brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), are likely related to disorders such as avoidant personality disorder. Evidence shows that some of the risk genes for avoidant personality disorder are shared with schizoid personality disorder [5] and social anxiety disorder [6] .


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