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7 Famous People With Avoidant Personality Disorder (AVPD)

7 Famous People With Avoidant Personality Disorder (AVPD)

Avoidant personality disorder is one of several personality disorders that is described by the avoidance of interpersonal relationships and social situations.


AVPD appears to affect females and males equally.

Also, approximately 2.5% of the population has the disorder.


There have not yet been any discovery of the specific cause of the AVPD.

But, some specialists had linked the disorder with trauma, abuse, or neglect during childhood.


The disorder usually manifests itself by early adulthood and includes a majority of the following symptoms:

  • believing that you are unwelcome in social situations regardless of the reality;
  • low self-esteem and self-loathing;
  • feelings of social ineptness;
  • overwhelming feelings of inadequacy;
  • avoidance of social interactions, school, and work;
  • constant fear of rejection;
  • hypersensitivity to criticism;
  • self-imposed isolation;
  • extreme social anxiety and shyness, even with close people.


A person must show at least 4 of the following characteristics to be diagnosticated with AVPD:

  • he is unlikely to take part in new activities or to take personal risks because he is afraid of embarrassment;
  • due to fear of disapproval, criticism, or rejection, he avoids work activities which involve contact with others;
  • he thinks that he is inferior to others, inept, and unappealing;
  • he is unwilling to get involved with other people unless he is sure they like him;
  • he completely avoids social situations as he feels inadequate;
  • the fear of being rejected or criticized in social situations dominates most of his thoughts;
  • he holds back in relationships since he is afraid that he will be humiliated or ridiculed.


There are a variety of treatments available for AVPD.

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However, cognitive-behavioral therapy is the most effective therapy methods with the avoidant disorders and social phobias as the emphasis is on modifying behavior and changing thinking patterns.

List of 7 Famous People With Avoidant Personality Disorder (AVPD):

1) Kim Basinger

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She is an American model turned singer and actress who won the Academy Award for the Best Actress in 1997 for ”Supporting Role” in the movie ”L.A. Confidential.”

For her performance as a temptress in Barry Levinson’s baseball film ”The Natural,” Kim was nominated for a Golden Globe Award.

In 1991, Basinger married actor Alec Baldwin but they separated in 2001.

Kim Basinger has openly spoken about her disorder and, in an interview, she said that when she was younger she was so scared of reading in front of her classmates that her school teachers would think she was having a nervous breakdown.

In 1997, when she took the podium to accept her Oscar for ”L.A. Confidential,” Kim couldn’t find the words to speak, even though she had practiced for several days.

2) Michael Jackson

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He was an American songwriter, singer, and dancer who was one of the most popular entertainers in the world in the early and mid-1980s, especially for releasing award-winning hits like “Beat It” and “Billie Jean.”

Having thirteen songs reach #1 on the U.S. charts, Michael Jackson’s 1982 album ”Thriller” became the best-selling album in history.

Michael Jackson received many awards, including:

  • 18 World Music Awards;
  • 26 American Music Awards;
  • Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award;
  • Grammy Legend Award;
  • 13 Grammy Awards;
  • 31 Guinness World Records.

Some psychologists think that most of Michael Jackson’s mental illnesses go back to his rotten childhood since his father had incredibly high expectations and was very strict with him.

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3) Glenn Gould

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He was a Canadian pianist who became one of the best-known and celebrated classical pianists of the 20th century.

Glenn started to experience anxiety every time he played the piano on stage starting in his adolescence and throughout the rest of his life.

On September 27, 1982, after experiencing a severe headache, he suffered a stroke which paralyzed the left side of his body.

By October 4, Gould’s father decided that his son should be taken off life support.

4) Donny Osmond

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He is an American singer, radio personality, actor, and former teen idol. His debut single, “Sweet & Innocent,” became his first Top 10 hit at the age of 14.

In 2009, Donny Osmond won the 9th season of ”Dancing with the Stars.”

During a 2005 interview with Larry King, Donny Osmond said – “Unless you’ve suffered from social anxiety disorders and panic attacks, which is what I was diagnosed as having, it’s hard to explain it.”

5) Jenny Lawson

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Jenny Lawson is from Wall, Texas, and is the author of The Bloggess website and Good Mom/Bad Mom.

Lawson also used to write an advice column named “Ask The Bloggess” for The Personal News Network. Also, her blog was included in the Top 100 Websites for Women by Forbes.

Jenny Lawson suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, avoidant personality disorder, depression, anxiety, and mild obsessive-compulsive disorder.

6) Ricky Williams

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He is an American footballer who played the 12th season in the National Football League. Ricky Williams is also a pre-vegetarian (avoids eating non-vegetarian food) and a qualified yoga instructor.

In a recent interview, Ricky Williams said – “I felt extremely isolated from my family and friends because I couldn’t explain to them what I was feeling. I had no idea what was wrong with me.”

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Ricky later learned he was among the more than 16 million people in the United States who suffer from social anxiety disorder.

7) Lemn Sissay

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He is the author of five poetry collections:

  • Listener;
  • The Emperor’s Watchmaker;
  • Morning Breaks in the Elevator;
  • Rebel Without Applause;
  • Tender Fingers in a Clenched Fist.

In 2010, Lemn Sissay was awarded the ”Member of the Order of the British Empire” in the Queen’s New Years Honours List for his services to Literature.

A documentary about his extraordinary life and search for his father, Internal Flight, was also broadcast on BBC1.

Lemn Sissay also suffers from avoidant personality disorder.

It is most likely caused by his hard childhood, when between the ages of 12 and 18, Lemm went from care home to care home, where he was emotionally, physically, and racially abused.


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