Avoidant Personality Disorder and Addiction

Young woman sitting alone near a group

Because opening oneself to others can leave space for rejection, people with avoidant personality disorder often withdraw from intimate or personal relationships

Avoidant personality disorder is an extremely complex disorder that can bring about considerable pain and emotional angst. Not only does this disorder affect all aspects of a person’s life, but it also makes him prone to substance abuse as he seeks to cope with his debilitating symptoms. If you deal with this psychological disorder and a resulting drug addiction, then seek professional help to ensure your recovery.

How Avoidant Personality Disorder Can Lead to Addiction

Of the many symptoms that define avoidant personality disorder, a handful of them link directly to the potential for drug abuse and addiction. Not only does this type of personality disorder make daily living more challenging, but the ways these symptoms affect life make treatment even more difficult. This means that some patients may be willing to abuse drugs simply because they feel better while high. Many symptoms of avoidant personality disorder can lead to drug abuse, including the following examples:

  • Having hurt feelings quite easily – People with avoidant personality disorder have an extremely difficult time handling criticism, rejection or judgment. Therefore, they become much more likely to get their feelings hurt on a regular basis as they take what others say to heart. This is especially damaging if someone’s words are negative. Feeling depressed or hurt over criticism can lead a person to use drugs or alcohol to cope, and as this pattern repeats itself it can cause addiction.
  • Feeling disconnected from others – Because opening oneself to others can leave space for rejection, people with avoidant personality disorder often withdraw from intimate or personal relationships with others because of this fear. This isolation can cause people to feel extremely lonely, and to fill that void they may turn to substance abuse.
  • Over-exaggerating experiences – Avoidant personality disorder can cloud a person’s view of how experiences actually happen, making her more likely to blow specific occurrences out of proportion. This pattern of constant misconception can make a person feel that her life experiences are worse than they truly are, making her prone to using drugs to drown out what she views as a tremendous challenge.

Getting one’s feelings hurt easily, feeling unable to connect with others and over-exaggerating experiences are all common symptoms of someone with avoidant personality disorder. Even though these symptoms are deemed normal considering the diagnosis, the side effects that can come from them can cause a person to abuse addictive substances as a result.

How Treatment Addresses APD and Addiction

If avoidant personality disorder goes untreated, the likelihood of developing an addiction gets much more intense. Not only will the symptoms of the disorder dictate this potential, but it can also lead to a full-blown addiction that only encourages the presence of symptoms. Treatment for avoidant personality disorder can allow a person to understand his disorder and apply positive coping skills to his situation rather than relying on drugs and/or alcohol. This type of treatment can also aid in the prevention of addiction and protect a person’s work, social and personal life.

Help for Avoidant Personality Disorder and Drug Dependence

Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to get connected to the help you need. Do not let your disorder cause or worsen an addiction; call us today for instant support.