Diagnosed With Personality Disorder & PtsdI have been diagnosed with a personality disorder and post traumatic stress disorder due to adverse childhood experiences. I have not been specifically diagnosed with "avoidant" personality disorder, but I'm pretty sure I fit the diagnosis.
My disorders seem to overlap, and additionally as a child I tended to be shy and reserved. Needless to say, it's extremely hard to develop and maintain friendships. I tend to discount connections I've made with people, and allow the friendships I've made to just slip into oblivion. The majority of my social interactions have been with people of the opposite sex (men), simply because they seem to be more persistent when it comes to maintaining relations.
I don't like going out in public, and avoid people as much as possible. My insides CRINGE whenever I have to interact with people, HOWEVER BRIEF THE CONTACT. I go to the store as late as possible to limit interactions, and wear a hoody and sunglasses whenever I leave my apartment. In the winter I can at least hide under all my cold weather clothing.
The possibility of interacting with my neighbors causes me anxiety. I have two dogs, and at times it can be really hard to bring myself to take them out because I live in an apartment community. My dogs are my babies, and at times I have considered giving them up because it can be so difficult. But my dogs seem to perceive when I'm having a hard time and are patient with me. I know their companionship helps, and my heart (and theirs) would be broken if we were to separate.
I had been going to psychotherapy for a few years, but that ended badly and only compounded my "people problems." I have weened myself off of all my antidepressants and antianxiety pills, which didn't seem to help and possibly made things worse. I have little faith in mental health care due to the psychiatrists and psychotherapists from whom I had been seeking treatment. I have started taking vitamin supplements and doing yoga for a more hollistic approach, which I believe helps with the chronic depression, but I think this site could be more therapeutic than anything.
I am learning to be content with my solitude...