The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), defines avoidant personality disorder (AVPD) as a long-standing, habitual, and ingrained pattern of social avoidance linked with fears of criticism, disapproval, and rejection from others as well as low self-esteem and excessive concerns over being embarrassed in public. According to the DSM-5, this pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting—as is true for all other personality disorders (PDs)—starts in early adulthood and occurs in various contexts. The DSM-5 provides a list of seven symptoms or diagnostic criteria of AVPD and holds that an individual must display at least four of the seven criteria to be diagnosed with AVPD. Epidemiological research reported in the DSM-5 estimates its prevalence at 2.4% in the United States and found ...

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