What’s the difference?

I was reading about Cluster C disorders and came across avoidance personality disorder.

  • Avoidant personality disorder is a Cluster C personality disorder. Those affected display a pattern of social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy and inferiority, extreme sensitivity to negative evaluation, and avoidance of social interaction despite a strong desire to be close to others. Individuals with the disorder tend to describe themselves as uneasy, anxious, lonely, unwanted and isolated from others.

Ok, I do not have this particular Cluster C disorder, but I can’t help but see the similarities between depression and avoidance.

I’m a social person, and I have mania to help me out, literally get out of the house and into the social world. With mania I also can have grandiose thoughts about myself so don’t feel “inadequate” or “inferior ” or care what people think about me, however, when I dive deep into an episode of depression I “avoid personal interaction” and become “isolated.”

So what’s the difference?

About ten years ago I worked in an inpatient psych hospital. Part of my job was to find placement for patients that needed to be locked up. I remember this one patient that I had major difficulty placing cause she had been kicked out of her previous institution, and had a poor reputation due to her personality disorder. She was also a cause of havoc on the unit too as the doctors tried to find medication to treat her illness. They tried all sorts of medications, but medication alone does not properly treat an individual with a personality disorder. At least in my opinion.

Having said that, I think one major difference between depression and avoidance comes down to pills. People with a personality disorder struggle when it comes to finding proper, or adequate medication, so if medication isn’t working for you, I would consider taking a close look at the Cluster C category.

Photo by Sharon Mollerus