Thursday, 4 November 2010

Late night hypochondria

The problem with the internet is that anyone can self diagnose.

And I hate people who go "Yeah, I'm so OCD!" or "I'm probably on the Autistic Spectrum" or "idk, sometimes I think I've got Aspergers, or something."

You know why? Because it smacks of self-indulgence. So you've got a few problems in life; it makes you feel special to give them a name.
I understand that. Sometimes I tell people I'm hypermobile, because techically, using the official diagnosis criteria that doctors use, I am. But I don't say it often, because frankly, it's only useful when you want to seem exciting and/or different.

Old photo but check the elbow. That's hypermobile.

The internet is a devil, though. Like I say, I declared myself hypermobile using wikipedia. I also once convinced myself I had cancer using wikipedia. But tonight, I think I actually have discovered something that genuinely fits me like a glove, and it's called Avoidant Personality Disorder 

Characterized by a pervasive pattern of social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy, extreme sensitivity to negative evaluation, and avoidance of social interaction.

My lonely friend, she is lonely. P.S, I took this :)
[They] often consider themselves to be socially inept or personally unappealing, and avoid social interaction for fear of being ridiculed, humiliated, rejected, or disliked. 

A long list of symptoms:
  • Hypersensitivity to criticism or rejection
  • Self-imposed social isolation
  • Extreme shyness or anxiety in social situations, though feels a strong desire for close relationships
  • Avoids physical contact because it has been associated with an unpleasant or painful stimulus
  • Avoids interpersonal relationships
  • Feelings of inadequacy
  • Severe low self-esteem
  • Self-loathing
  • Mistrust of others
  • Emotional distancing related to intimacy
  • Highly self-conscious
  • Self-critical about their problems relating to others
  • Problems in occupational functioning
  • Lonely self-perception, although others may find the relationship with them meaningful
  • Feeling inferior to others
  • In some more extreme cases — agoraphobia
  • Utilizes fantasy as a form of escapism and to interrupt painful thoughts
Another gratuitous elbow pic. Imagine we're fantasising, okay?

Except the first, and the association aspect of the physical contact one, I genuinely believe all of these apply to me. Especially the last one. Fantasy...I've been making up stories in my head since I was tiny, all of them with a protagonist similar, but better than me. When I'm walking along the street (and I do still do this) I imagine someone else with me, I become someone else, I have imaginary conversations with myself.
Seventeen years old and I still have imaginary friends. Hm.

Anyway, there are actual diagnosis criteria, too. It is characterized by at least four of the following:
  1. persistent and pervasive feelings of tension and apprehension;
  2. belief that one is socially inept, personally unappealing, or inferior to others;
  3. excessive preoccupation with being criticized or rejected in social situations;
  4. unwillingness to become involved with people unless certain of being liked;
  5. restrictions in lifestyle because of need to have physical security;
     6.  avoidance of social or occupational activities that involve significant interpersonal   contact because of fear of criticism, disapproval, or rejection.
 Am I being ridiculous?  
I do genuinely believe all of these apply to me. It goes on to explain that a particular feature of AvPD is "excessive monitoring" of oneself and other people in a conversation, to the extent that it inhibits your actual conversation.
Now I'm not saying that, even if I do have a particularly avoidant personality or whatever, I'm about to start living my life defined by it. It's just surprised me that it fits me so well.
Hate me resent me dislike me for being one of those people if you like.
Actually I would really appreciate some advice, if anybody has any.
:) Emma

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