Avoidant personality diosrder?

has anybody heard of this? are there any known causes of this disorder?

Yeah, avoidant personality disorder is an axis 2 disorder (meaning, 'lifelong') and refers to an intense shyness around people- hence, the 'avoidant' part. I think it's hard to diagnose, because it's hard to draw the line between shyness and pscyhological disequilibrium.
I don't want to answer that - I am not going to answer that - I am not sure why I will not answer that but I just can't bring myself to answer that.
People with avoidant personality disorder suffer because they let the fear they have of interacting with others overwhelm them. Most likely they were abused or neglected as children. Either way something inside them learned that social situations make for truly frightening situations.

To them this fear is every bit as real as a psycho killer holding a knife to their throat.

Often times people with APD also suffer from panic attacks, agoraphobia, and depression, though not always.

It is most likely caused by not having one's emotional needs met as a child. These children tend to grow up in such extremely turbulent circumstances that they can't know how to react to any situation. One response may get only anger from a parent (or other significant figure) one time but love and affection the next. It could be laughed off or cause tears. The point is that they learn not to trust their own ability to interact with others.

There are bother therapies and medications that can deal with this successfully. The meds treat symptoms to allow the therapy to gain hold then, depending on the situation, the meds may be tapered off. Sometimes medication is not needed at all.

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy is an excellent method of treatment.
Not to sound flippant, because it's true:

One person's disorder is another's security blanket.

I know of people who aren't "disordered," but
rather are acutely private people.

It's what we call Introversion (I).

Alarm bells go off and hysteria takes hold
when forceful types--often, Extraverts (E's),
conveniently for them--decide that the
person in question isn't measuring up
or isn't functioning to someone's either
expectation or demand.

These E's, often admittedly rather callous people,
have the advantage, because they're the ones
prone to sounding the sirens with regard to
the "need" for "care." They've learned that
the I's are likely to not put up a significant struggle.

Thus, we have a nation, in uncounted numbers, of
virtually harmless, otherwise mild-mannered
people who have been cowed or bullied for whatever
reason into going along with others' recommendations.

And these "professions" continue.

[The ultimate military drill sergeant is definitely
an Extravert. His way or else.

The "help" or "care" professional, from doctor on down,
is a subtler, watered-down version, but with every bit
of venom.]

If this seems like a rant, it isn't. I tend to read a bit,
and don't believe the schoolyard bully should be
allowed to transform his nature through how
he makes his living.

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