A diagnosis is made via a medical professional’s evaluation, based on specific diagnostic criteria.
For medical professionals to diagnose avoidant personality disorder, individuals must persistently avoid social contact, feel inadequate, and be hypersensitive to criticism and rejection, as shown by at least four of the following:
- They avoid job-related activities that involve interpersonal contact because they fear that they will be criticised or rejected or that people will disapprove of them.
- They are unwilling to get involved with people unless they are sure of being liked.
- They are reserved in close relationships because they are afraid of being ridiculed or humiliated.
- They are preoccupied with being criticised or rejected in social situations.
- They are inhibited in new social situations because they feel inadequate.
- They view themselves as socially incompetent, unappealing, or inferior to others.
- They are reluctant to take risks or participate in any new activity because they may be embarrassed.
Also, symptoms must have begun by early adulthood.