Schizoid Personality Disorder - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 102 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Schizoid Personality Disorder


I'm surprised not to see the thread dedicated to this disorder because I'd seen it mentioned before on this forum.

I'm not diagnosed, but the description suits me so well that it can't be other way... I wouldn't create the thread if it hasn't just hit me home and I've just read about it.

Is there anybody who has it along with social anxiety (disorder) or without? How do you cope with that? How do you treat it? What's your experience with it in general cause it literally affects the whole personality and life?

Edit: Books on schizoid issues: ''Schizoid Phenomena, Object Relations and the Self'' by Harry Guntrip https://www.amazon.com/Schizoid-Phen...ct_top?ie=UTF8 , chapter 9 in ''Psychoanalytic Diagnosis, Second Edition: Understanding Personality Structure in the Clinical Process'' by Nancy McWilliams, an article ''Some Thoughts about Schizoid Dynamics'' by Nancy McWilliams https://www.researchgate.net/publica...izoid_Dynamics
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post #2 of 102 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 02:08 PM
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I used to think I might be schizoid, I definitely don't though now. I think I just adapted myself in that way in order to cope.
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post #3 of 102 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 02:11 PM
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I suspect I have schizoid personality disorder.
I don't desire nor enjoy being around people. People just make me bored and I have no desire listening or talking to them. Even if its a subject I'm interested at.
I like my own company. Furthermore, I have no interestes in life at anything. Ok I have 1-2 like cycling or trekking but that's it. There are times that I just prefer laying in my bed than doing any of those because they don't amuse me so much.
It surely affects my life in a negative way. People spend their lives working, sleeping and socializing. Since I am unemployed and I am isolated, I have plenty of time to be bored and think. And I get depressed.
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post #4 of 102 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 04:10 PM
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I have some traits in common and can relate a bit to people I've come across online diagnosed with the condition, but I don't believe I have that condition. It's probably the same reason I've had people in real life in the past ask if I have aspergers though, and perhaps why some people accuse me of being a sociopath online (although usually they're overly emotional by normal standards,) because I notice people often confuse symptoms of those two conditions (aspergers and SPD) as well. But I don't have aspergers either.
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post #5 of 102 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 10:08 PM
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I feel nastalgic now I was diagnosed with Asperger when I was 15, and then, at 17, I was at Barns and Noble studying DSM 4 and the moment I ran across Schizoid Personality I felt this would fit me much better than Asperger, since I thought the root of my condition is "not caring" about social interaction. Well, few years later, at 21, I learned its not the case: yes I do care about making friends, I just don't know how to make them, so Asperger diagnosis fits me better. As of now I am 37, and yes I think Asperger is the correct diagnosis. By the way, I doubt anyone on this forum is Schizoid: if you were Schizoid you would be perfectly content with not having friends and, therefore, you wouldn't be here.
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post #6 of 102 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 10:49 PM
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Although a lot of the criteria rings true i think my lack of interest in making friends is more due to other problems like aspergers, which means i struggle to connect with many people and therefore am repeatedly rejected and even harrased to the point where i become fearful of trying to get to know people or simply see it as a hopeless exercise.
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post #7 of 102 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 11:45 PM
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I'm fairly certain I have SPD to some degree. I can communicate effectively and I can make/keep "friends" but I find myself unable to openly relate to them. I feel empathy/sympathy unlike sociopaths but I have a lot of difficulty feeling connected to other people even in their company or during relationships that are perceived as intimate.

My pschiatrist mentioned the disorder to me before as well, but I had a minor panic attack during the conversation. What's odd about SPD is the more familiarity people have with you the more likely you are to engage in avoidance, even outright lying to confuse "friends".

I was watching a TV series called Mr. Robot that depicts the condition fairly well. Lucky for me I doubt my condition will ever devolve as much as it does for the protagonist.

Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.
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post #8 of 102 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 11:45 PM
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post #9 of 102 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by causalset View Post
I feel nastalgic now I was diagnosed with Asperger when I was 15, and then, at 17, I was at Barns and Noble studying DSM 4 and the moment I ran across Schizoid Personality I felt this would fit me much better than Asperger, since I thought the root of my condition is "not caring" about social interaction. Well, few years later, at 21, I learned its not the case: yes I do care about making friends, I just don't know how to make them, so Asperger diagnosis fits me better. As of now I am 37, and yes I think Asperger is the correct diagnosis. By the way, I doubt anyone on this forum is Schizoid: if you were Schizoid you would be perfectly content with not having friends and, therefore, you wouldn't be here.
While a schizoid can be perfectly content without close relationships I think not having any human contact at all is disconcerting for them in the same way it is for everyone else. It's why they create an inner life and do a lot of self talk which can create delusions if it's not kept in check.



The show says so much about suffering from the disease in certain scenes. At least it's very much like my experience with it, and my life in general.

Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.
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post #10 of 102 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 12:28 AM
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While a schizoid can be perfectly content without close relationships I think not having any human contact at all is disconcerting for them in the same way it is for everyone else.
That makes sense. So I guess the people that "don't care at all" about social interaction would be autistics. But when I make that claim about autistics, then people also correct me on this as well. But you see, there has to be SOMEONE who doesn't care about total isolation -- after all people assume I don't care, so there has to be SOMEONE who is responsible for this kind of misconception. Or could it be that said "someone" is a movie character (rainman, sheldon, or someone else "fun" like that), which means that entertainment industry is to blame?
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post #11 of 102 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 12:43 AM
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That makes sense. So I guess the people that "don't care at all" about social interaction would be autistics. But when I make that claim about autistics, then people also correct me on this as well. But you see, there has to be SOMEONE who doesn't care about total isolation -- after all people assume I don't care, so there has to be SOMEONE who is responsible for this kind of misconception. Or could it be that said "someone" is a movie character (rainman, sheldon, or someone else "fun" like that), which means that entertainment industry is to blame?
There are plenty of people that will say that they don't care about social interactions. They may even be telling the truth but the result is extremely negative to any human beings mental state. Humans can survive without anyone else, but it's a life of suffering.

I can understand why people would confuse being schizotypal with autism because the extreme isolation can cause poor social skills. People with SPD however don't display any of the different thinking styles that autistic people do. SPD people don't see order in the mundane like sequences of numbers, they don't enjoy repetitive tasks, and they don't have sensory disorders.

I think what really identifies some one with SPD the most is the inner life they build and the inability to make definable caring relationships. I have trouble feeling close to family for example.

Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.
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post #12 of 102 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 12:50 AM
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I can understand why people would confuse being schizotypal with autism
Important correction: schizoid and schizotypal are two separate personality disorders, although both are in cluster A. The difference is that schizoid is only about introversion, while schizotypal also has magical thinking and other mild quasi-delusions on top of it.

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People with SPD however don't display any of the different thinking styles that autistic people do. SPD people don't see order in the mundane like sequences of numbers, they don't enjoy repetitive tasks, and they don't have sensory disorders.
I don't do those things either, which is part of the reason I suspected I was schizoid at some point. But then again the thing I "do" do has to do with obsessions (look at all of the posts where I over-analyze). To me, my obsessions are a lot more meaningful than the ones you mentioned, which is what would make me say "hey, people that look at patterns are autistic while people like myself who overanalyze are schizoid" but I guess from the perspective of someone who doesn't do either of those two they think both are equally weird hence they lump both under the same autism umbrella.
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post #13 of 102 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 06:27 AM
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Never diagnosed with it, but I always suspected that I'm schizoid (every mental disorder quiz I've taken has me very high on schizoid and fairly low on everything else). A lot of the symptom descriptions are highly accurate for me.

- I don't have any close relationships, even with family, but more importantly I don't have any desire to form relationships either. The thought of getting to know someone does not interest me and I'd rather spend time alone. I don't even feel lonely most of the time, it's not like I want social connection but can't get it, I just don't want it.

- I rarely, if ever, show emotion. I don't even know what most of the emotions feel like anymore. I noticed this in my early mid 20s when I realized I couldn't cry anymore. I lost one grandfather when I was 18-19 and was very upset for a time even though I wasn't very close, I've since lost family members even closer and haven't felt anything. I could be best described as neutral pretty much all the time, not happy, not sad, not angry...just nothing.

- All of my hobbies are solitary, when the few distant friends I have want to join in those hobbies I actually feel somewhat annoyed. I've been playing online games for over a decade and haven't made a single friend from it, that should tell you something.

- I don't derive pleasure from many activities, I tend to do things just to pass the time. I have no creative passion and I've never had any, even in childhood.


It's weird describing my life, because it's really bland and solitary, but I also prefer it this way. I don't know if I'm schizoid, but I feel like I fit the profile.

"It's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care"
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post #14 of 102 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 06:57 AM
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if you were Schizoid you would be perfectly content with not having friends and, therefore, you wouldn't be here.
That's a wrong conclusion. Social anxiety doesn't equate being unhappy with not having friends even if suffering from the lack of friends can be a consequence of the illness.
You can be fine with not having friends, but still experience anxiety in many situations that involve any kind of social interaction. For example using the phone to make an appointment with the dentist or to get your car fixed (even though you don't want to befriend the secretary, dentist, men in the garage), answering the door (even if you don't want to befriend the witness jehova or mail man or food deliverer), simply walking on the street or using public transportation (where you don't want to befriend the random people who might be looking at and judging you).
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post #15 of 102 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 07:10 AM Thread Starter
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As for me, what I discovered yesterday was definitely a revelation about myself. It may sound farce, but it's so true and I feel both, more depressive (because I despirately thought I could be(come) normal) and more emotionally calm (because it's evident that I'm not the only one with it and that it has a name and also something I'll write about below...).

It is definitely pathological in my case because I have those social and emotional withdrawals and I've being dreaming unconsciously since my early childhood (starting from kindergarden, I think) and it made me counter-productive throughout my whole life. I wasn't good at school and dropped out the university I was too abmitious to attend and I'm currently unemployed. I could always sense the amount of time I was engaging myself in was pathological and that other people/kids definidely didn't do such a weird thing. And the dreaming itself wasn't about ''pies in the skies'' or, you know, ''ponies and rainbows''. It has always been about people, socially-related things (regardless of how unusual/unrealistic they are) and that was a substitude for those things in real life.

The positive part of it is that I read a chapter about it that was written in a rarely unbiased way... I found it reading Wiki SPD article references. There was a google books link in it. It was a book by Nancy McWilliams. She literally described my whole life and personality in that chapter and she might be the only who didn't make me feel so ****ty about myself and crazy (except for a few people I recently met on the internet, so this may only be a question of time). What unusual about it is that she writes about schizoid personality in general, whether it's about high-functioning, more adapted individuals with this personality or more troubled ones (like me ). And she critisizes bias in psychological field. She described everything that would make a therapy to be ideal for me, just like I has always been thinking about it on my own.
Also I read her most recent article about this subject: http://internationalpsychoanalysis.n...d_dynamics.pdf

Those who know they're schizoid or the ones who suspect it, you should definitely read this article! I'd also hope there would be people who'd read it just to be more able to understand us, but I know there are zero people who are interested in understanding us with empathy to the point where they would read this article from beginning to the end.
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post #16 of 102 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 07:38 AM Thread Starter
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There are plenty of people that will say that they don't care about social interactions. They may even be telling the truth but the result is extremely negative to any human beings mental state. Humans can survive without anyone else, but it's a life of suffering.

I can understand why people would confuse being schizotypal with autism because the extreme isolation can cause poor social skills. People with SPD however don't display any of the different thinking styles that autistic people do. SPD people don't see order in the mundane like sequences of numbers, they don't enjoy repetitive tasks, and they don't have sensory disorders.

I think what really identifies some one with SPD the most is the inner life they build and the inability to make definable caring relationships. I have trouble feeling close to family for example.
This is so true! Nancy McWilliams mentiones it in her article as well as in the chapter of her book. She says everyone seeks for attachment, but it's peolple's defense mechanisms that differ.

She says more maintream psychology has bias towards schizoids, because most people who created it weren't schizoid themselves and they only saw what was on the surface, so they concluded that schizoid people weren't interested in interpersonal relationships at all, while it's only the mechanisms they use in order to cope.

Other personalities have other mechanisms prevailed... She mentiones different types of defense mechanisms in her book. Withdrawal is not something most people can relate to though

Last edited by SorryForMyEnglish; 01-18-2017 at 07:30 AM. Reason: wrong quote
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post #17 of 102 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 08:48 AM
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As for me, what I discovered yesterday was definitely a revelation about myself. It may sound farce, but it's so true and I feel both, more depressive (because I despirately thought I could be(come) normal) and more emotionally calm (because it's evident that I'm not the only one with it and that it has a name and also something I'll write about below...).

It is definitely pathological in my case because I have those social and emotional withdrawals and I've being dreaming unconsciously since my early childhood (starting from kindergarden, I think) and it made me counter-productive throughout my whole life. I wasn't good at school and dropped out the university I was too abmitious to attend and I'm currently unemployed. I could always sense the amount of time I was engaging myself in was pathological and that other people/kids definidely didn't do such a weird thing. And the dreaming itself wasn't about ''pies in the skies'' or, you know, ''ponies and rainbows''. It has always been about people, socially-related things (regardless of how unusual/unrealistic they are) and that was a substitude for those things in real life.

The positive part of it is that I read a chapter about it that was written in a rarely unbiased way... I found it reading Wiki SPD article references. There was a google books link in it. It was a book by Nancy McWilliams. She literally described my whole life and personality in that chapter and she might be the only who didn't make me feel so ****ty about myself and crazy (except for a few people I recently met on the internet, so this may only be a question of time). What unusual about it is that she writes about schizoid personality in general, whether it's about high-functioning, more adapted individuals with this personality or more troubled ones (like me ). And she critisizes bias in psychological field. She described everything that would make a therapy to be ideal for me, just like I has always been thinking about it on my own.
Also I read her most recent article about this subject: http://internationalpsychoanalysis.n...d_dynamics.pdf

Those who know they're schizoid or the ones who suspect it, you should definitely read this article! I'd also hope there would be people who'd read it just to be more able to understand us, but I know there are zero people who are interested in understanding us with empathy to the point where they would read this article from beginning to the end.


Thank you for the article, it is highly descriptive and accurate. I realize how much nonsense it is for me to make this comment considering the circumstances but if you'd like some one to talk to I definitely won't be judgmental. I'm actually very interested in communicating with another person that has extremely similar problems as me, it feels nice for a change.

I'm still working my way through the article but early on I noted this.

Quote:
Another possible reason for associating the schizoid with the pathological is that many schizoid individuals feel an affinity for people with psychotic disorders. One colleague of mine, self-described as schizoid, prefers working with psychotically disturbed individuals to treating “healthy neurotics,” because he experiences neurotically troubled people as “dishonest” (i.e.,defensive), whereas he perceives psychotic ones as engaged in a fully authentic struggle with their demons
Page 3 paragraph 2.

I experienced this reaction from my counselors and psychiatrist which is why they were often very eager to work with me on medication and treatment. When I spoke at length to my own devised coping mechanisms and how I keep my sanity in check along with how I attempt to form healthy relationships. I expressed frustration about some thing and she stopped me saying "Yes, it's because you're desperately trying to heal.".... I Should see her again some day but it feels highly uncomfortable for me to see her again in the most paranoid and typical of schizoid ways. I should know better by now.

Edit :

In continuation of the reading,
Quote:
Consider further the significance of the term “us.” Schizoid people recognize each other. They feel like members of what one reclusive friend of mine called “a community of the solitary.” Like homosexually oriented people with “gaydar,” many schizoid individuals can spot each other in a crowd. I have heard them describe a sense of deep and compassionate kinship. with one another, despite the fact that these relatively isolative people rarely verbalize such kinship or approach each other for explicit recognition.
page 6 and 7

It made me chuckle to myself after having posted this.

A gathering point for other schizoids I've found on SAS is this thread http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/...-grit-1106866/ our interactions seem to outline much of McWilliams observation.

It reminds me of the interactions I have with an elderly man at work. The day I met him I knew he was like me, later I found out that he had lived as a hermit for many years. I believe he is very much schizoid and deep into this pattern of thinking. We've never spoken on the topic, we aren't particularly close or communicate a lot. He sees me for what I am too, I know he does because I am one of the few people he confides how he feels in. He will talk to me about the way nursing staff behaves with him, how he's treated differently because of his schizoid disorder. I nod to him and much of the communication is in a non-verbal style because I've made it clear to him I'm unable to divulge information. I've made little comments to this man about some behaviors that aren't acceptable or will get him into trouble and he picked up on it immediately. He's crazy frankly, but our insanity talks to each other. By non-verbal I mean I say things that hint at what I'm actually trying to communicate because I can't speak to him confidentially. He picks up on it, and he talks to me the same way.

Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.
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post #18 of 102 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 02:04 PM
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I remember reading about this when I was trying to see if I had this or just social anxiety and really felt matched up with schizoid rather well. I'm not sure though, I mean I could have been schizoid if I never had anything to open me up a little, if I never had psychologists and prozac. But since I've experienced so many other parts of my life which were dead without something to open me up, I feel like I am not schizoid. I desire people just like anyone else does. There was no dating before I was opened up a little, there was nothing, I was all dead inside. When you have something to open you up, I am sure anyone can go from a schizoid to just a little social anxiety and probably the schizoid term is just given for those people who are just completely closed off like I was. Give them something and maybe they will change. Every definition and symptom of schizoid or any other disorder just shows you how extreme a disorder is and how deep you're conformed to it and how dysfunctional your life becomes in this world.

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post #19 of 102 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 07:15 AM Thread Starter
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I experienced this reaction from my counselors and psychiatrist which is why they were often very eager to work with me on medication and treatment. When I spoke at length to my own devised coping mechanisms and how I keep my sanity in check along with how I attempt to form healthy relationships. I expressed frustration about some thing and she stopped me saying "Yes, it's because you're desperately trying to heal.".... I Should see her again some day but it feels highly uncomfortable for me to see her again in the most paranoid and typical of schizoid ways. I should know better by now.
Aw, that wasn't a sensitive thing to say This constant misunderstanding and labeling is what I'm afraid of the most, because you're supposed to be really open to a therapist and there should be trust involved in it, but it just ruins everything. I've experienced all of that throughout my whole life from other people, whether I tried to be desperately close (or rather more open in most cases) to them or not. That's something that keeps me in total isolation and only makes it worse and worse, like a never-ending circle...

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A gathering point for other schizoids I've found on SAS is this thread http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/...-grit-1106866/ our interactions seem to outline much of McWilliams observation.

It reminds me of the interactions I have with an elderly man at work. The day I met him I knew he was like me, later I found out that he had lived as a hermit for many years. I believe he is very much schizoid and deep into this pattern of thinking. We've never spoken on the topic, we aren't particularly close or communicate a lot. He sees me for what I am too, I know he does because I am one of the few people he confides how he feels in. He will talk to me about the way nursing staff behaves with him, how he's treated differently because of his schizoid disorder. I nod to him and much of the communication is in a non-verbal style because I've made it clear to him I'm unable to divulge information. I've made little comments to this man about some behaviors that aren't acceptable or will get him into trouble and he picked up on it immediately. He's crazy frankly, but our insanity talks to each other. By non-verbal I mean I say things that hint at what I'm actually trying to communicate because I can't speak to him confidentially. He picks up on it, and he talks to me the same way.
Thanks for the thread link!
I think, I've never came across other people with SPD in my real life. I can't recall people with similar symptoms, only people with slightly different problems.

However, I used to know one woman who suits Nancy McWilliams' description of ''people with schizoid personality'' and she was very high-functional and professionally successful person. I think, we did recorgnize each other as someone similar to ourselves... We usually had similar opinions on a lot of things which was very strange. And we were somewhat alike non-verbally too. She would look like ''I don't want anyone to come near me, I need my own space and I'm a little detached from you all''. Same was with me, but in my case it's really pathological and there was extreme anxiety on top of that as usual. Ironically, we never really got along and it was probably because both of us thought we'd rather stay away then invide each other's spaces cause it was clearly visible that we'd rather be left alone . That's the saddest part because it could possibly be a very profound communication and connection between people who relate to each other so much.
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post #20 of 102 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 07:44 AM Thread Starter
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I remember reading about this when I was trying to see if I had this or just social anxiety and really felt matched up with schizoid rather well. I'm not sure though, I mean I could have been schizoid if I never had anything to open me up a little, if I never had psychologists and prozac. But since I've experienced so many other parts of my life which were dead without something to open me up, I feel like I am not schizoid. I desire people just like anyone else does. There was no dating before I was opened up a little, there was nothing, I was all dead inside. When you have something to open you up, I am sure anyone can go from a schizoid to just a little social anxiety and probably the schizoid term is just given for those people who are just completely closed off like I was. Give them something and maybe they will change. Every definition and symptom of schizoid or any other disorder just shows you how extreme a disorder is and how deep you're conformed to it and how dysfunctional your life becomes in this world.
But there are reasons people are closed off, it's not that simple for everyone. Everyone's reasons differ so I don't think a lot of people can relate to me personally, for instance. If it's claimed that people's psychologies are different at their very basis (unconscious) then it makes it much more complicated then just ''do it'' approach.

I refer to psychoanalysis here because it seems to explain things on a deeper level to me. I know, it's subjective, but stil.... it's just that I know I can't relate to most people with the very core of my personality/character and vice versa. If those differences were acknowledged then maybe there would be less misunderstanding, i.e. most people labeling me as weird, teasing and hurting me sometimes or just completely ignoring me or all things at once which enhances my isolation and mental health damage
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