Mental Health & ADHD Comorbidities

[Self-Test] Avoidant Personality Disorder

Take this avoidant personality disorder test to see if you may be showing signs of AVPD, a Cluster C personality disorder.

Avoidant personality disorder (AVPD) is characterized by patterns of social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy, and hypersensitivity to negative evaluation.1 People with AVPD fear rejection and criticism from others, and tend to view themselves as socially inept, personally unappealing, or inferior to others. They are unlikely to take risks or engage in new activities that could expose them to evaluation from others. AVPD often affects workplace functioning and occupational advancement.

AVPD occurs in up to 2.5% of the population, though estimates vary.2 It is one of three Cluster C personality disorders, which are characterized by anxious, fearful behaviors and thoughts. AVPD often co-occurs with other conditions, including depression and anxiety.2 AVPD appears so similar to social anxiety disorder that some researchers question whether the former is a distinct disorder or a variant of the latter.1 3

Research also suggests a link between AVPD and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). One study of 878 adults with ADHD found that about 19% of the group showed symptoms of AVPD.4 More research, however, is warranted on the possible connection.

If you suspect that you have symptoms of AVPD, answer the questions below and share the results with a licensed mental health professional who is experienced in diagnosing and treating psychiatric disorders.

This self-test was adapted from diagnostic criteria for AVPD outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). It is designed to screen for the possibility of AVPD, and it is for personal use only. This test is not intended as a diagnostic tool. Only a licensed mental health professional can diagnose AVPD.

I worry about blushing or crying in front of others in response to criticism.

People tell me that I’m too shy and quiet.

I avoid activities where I have to interact with lots of people, especially strangers.

I fantasize about being accepted and forming strong, trusting friendships and relationships.

I tend to open up to others only if I’m positive they’ll like and accept me – unconditionally.

I am quick to pick up on subtle signs of mockery or derision from others.

In social situations, I often worry that I don’t understand the “rules” and that I come off as awkward.

I often pass up opportunities, such as job promotions or competitions, that would expose me to evaluation and judgment from others.

I am often preoccupied with being criticized and/or rejected in social situations.

I often fear embarrassing myself in front of others.

(Optional) Would you like to receive your symptom test results — plus more helpful resources — via email from ADDitude?

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Avoidant Personality Disorder Test: Next Steps

View Article Sources

1 American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Avoidant personality disorder. In Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.).

2 Lampe, L., & Malhi, G. S. (2018). Avoidant personality disorder: current insights. Psychology research and behavior management, 11, 55–66.

3 Fariba KA, Sapra A. Avoidant Personality Disorder. [Updated 2022 Jun 12]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from:

4 Jacob, C. P., Gross-Lesch, S., Reichert, S., Geissler, J., Jans, T., Kittel-Schneider, S., Nguyen, T. T., Romanos, M., Reif, A., Dempfle, A., & Lesch, K.-P. (2016). Sex- and Subtype-Related Differences of Personality Disorders (Axis II) and Personality Traits in Persistent ADHD. Journal of Attention Disorders, 20(12), 1056–1065.