How is avoidant personality disorder treated?

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

Referral to a psychiatrist or other mental health professional for diagnostic evaluation is indicated.

Referral to a clinician trained in behavioral or cognitive-behavioral therapy can be beneficial. Components of this type of therapy include education, social skills training, relaxation training, rewards for social behavior, slowly graduated exposure to feared situations, and helping the child correct distorted thoughts during feared encounters (real or simulated).

Group therapy may be effective.

Continue monitoring medication dose and adverse effects.

Encourage parents and patients to confront feared situations as tolerated. Supporting additional social interaction in activities in which someone feels competent (eg, sports, art, music) can increase the chance of success.

Watch for the emergence of other psychiatric conditions, particularly major depression and substance abuse.


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