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avoidant personality disorder is a condition often characterized by: hypersensitivity to perceived or real rejection and a pervasive, extremely low self-esteem.
this inevitably leads to intense social inhibition to the point where the avoidant person tends to avoid social contact with all but those whom he knows for certain will not reject him.
this, in turn, can lead to the avoidant person compensating for his/her lack of social interaction by constructing a complex "fantasy" world, through which he experiences those things that he feels himself incapable of experiencing in real life (love, acceptance, etc.).
it may also lead the avoidant person to assume a defensive position while in contact with others, so he can reject others before they reject him.

treatment is usually therapy.
a person with avoidant personality disorder believes himself to be so personally unappealing that he withdraws from social life, so as to avoid the pain of rejection. this, in turn, causes others to perceive him as uninterested in social life, and they may ignore or even ridicule him. this, of course, reinforces the avoidant's beliefs that he is inferior, and leads him to further withdrawl.

avoidant personality disorder may often be connected to clinical depression.
by chapstick November 09, 2005
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