Had to trim a bit because I ranted.
Originally Posted by Persephone The Dread
the dsm criteria for schizoid is pretty rubbish and seems to be based on external judgements (I also get the impression there isn't much in the way of treatment for it, and plus most schizoid people don't present for treatment.) Although I think older definitions of schizoid incorporated AvPD and schizotypal PD as well into the definition of schizoid then they separated them into three personality disorders in the 80s. Not sure every work on schizoid personalities is based on SPD either.
I also found the stuff written about sexuality on the wikipedia page interesting (and relatable because my own sexuality is weird and often dissociative.)
edit: another thing is, and it's actually brought up on the wikipedia page, almost everything written about this is really old now. Like 40+ years old.
The book was published in 1969. I like it maybe partly because it's doing such a good job describing some of the problems I have. But I'm not really anything like the DSM5 description for SPD so they're different kinds of things.
It's frustrating being so messed up and yet not meeting the criteria for a single diagnosis. If they can't diagnose you, then you just don't have any problems; there's nothing wrong with you, so you're just supposed to get on with things and stop malingering. Wish I could kill myself, but you can't get approved for assisted sui if you can't even get a diagnosis.
Even the description for GAD, which is maybe the closest, sounds sort of off in ways I have trouble putting my finger on. Look at this nonsense (pulled randomly
from the internet):
What Do People with GAD Worry About?
For the most part, people with GAD worry about the same things that others worry about, they just worry more and more often than other people. Some common GAD worries include:
Worries about minor matters, such as punctuality and small decisions:
“What if I’m late for my appointment?”
“What if I go see this movie and I don’t like it? What if there is a movie that I would like better?”
Worries about work or school, such as exams, performance at work or in class:
“What if I failed my test?”
“What if I choose the wrong career path?”
“What if I don’t finish this report on time?”
Worries about friends and family, such as relationships, getting along with others:
“What if my parents get divorced?”
“What if my child gets injured while playing hockey?”
“What if I choose an outing for some friends and no one enjoys themselves? What if they blame me for not having a good time?”
Worries about health, such as personal health or the health of loved ones:
“What if I get cancer or some other serious disease?”
“What if my husband gets into a car accident?”
Worries about the future and the world; such as the environment, war in the world
“What if there is a hurricane in my city?”
“What if in 20 years I don’t have enough money to retire?”
Now, what do I worry about?
"What if that person pushes me in front of that truck?"
"What if I push that person in front of that truck?"
"What if my heart stops beating and I drop dead right now?"
"What if my house catches fire in my sleep and I burn alive?"
"What if a phorid fly crawls into my ear when I'm asleep and lays eggs and the maggots get into my brain?"
"What if I get flesh-eating disease from a yellow sac spider bite?"
"What if I stab my eye out with this fork?"
"What if hang myself from the railing?"
"What if, when I'm homeless, I get frostbite and they have to amputate my hands and feet?"
"What if that dog attacks me and I get rabies?"
"What if someone asks me on a date and then murders and eats me?"
"What if someone jumps off that 10th story balcony right now?"
"What if there really is a giant beehive in my ceiling?"
"What if ghosts are real and I'm not imagining the face I think I'm seeing in my closet right now?"
"What if aliens are real and they abduct me?"
"What if that spot on my cheek is cancer and they have to keep amputating more and more of my face?"
"What if they put me on SSRIs and I have a psychotic break and go on a murder spree?"
I can't possibly imagine worrying about things like, "What if I go see this movie and I don’t like it?" With so many much more interesting things to be afraid of, how does anyone have time to worry about whether or not the checkout girl thinks they're a weirdo or if "in 20 years I don’t have enough money to retire?" I'd be bloody well surprised if I did
have the money.
If the kinds of things I worry about on a near-constant basis is quite normal for people with GAD, then sign me up. These are the kinds of thoughts that preoccupy me. I get actual physical urges to do a lot of these self-destructive things. Like drink bleach or stick a knife in an electrical outlet. So my fears feel very well-founded. The fact is, I'm not
sure I won't hang myself from the railing or walk in front of a bus. If I could be sure I wouldn't do it, I wouldn't worry about it.
But if most people with GAD worry about being late for appointments and failing tests then maybe it's not the right fit. I'm much too worried about whether or not I'm going to stab myself in the eye with the pencil to worry about what kind of grade I'm going to get. It starts to border uncomfortably close on psychosis. And my dreams are all the same way. Except that, in my dreams, the things I fear will happen IRL do happen with rather depressing regularity. But I'm not paranoid. I don't actually believe there are plots to kill me or anything.
The stuff I can relate to from the book are things like the feeling that, if someone knows what I look like, or hears my voice, then I will suddenly cease to exist as a real person in their mind and everything they say will be directed toward this other person who just happens to be the one with the body. Like, that my body will replace me. The relationship stops being real. I get trapped in the void and it feels like living death.
I interact with the world through this persona, which is nothing like the person I am on the inside, and it feels like the two worlds barely have anything to do with each other. My fantasy/mental life is this vivid, detailed nightmare world, where I have a body and voice that are nothing like my real body and voice, and the whole psychic terrain moves in parallel with reality without ever really touching it. Often, the real world feels like it's the dream, because it feels so unreal and insubstantial. Is this derealization? Is feeling unreal if someone knows what I look like depersonalization? How does one classify the feeling that, when one is looking in the mirror, one is actually
looking at a stranger ... who is looking back at them? Is this dissociation? Is this Schizotypal PD? Idk.
My sexuality is pretty messed up, too. It's sort of like my fears in a way, in the sense that, I can make almost any given situation into a terrifying possibility, but I can also make almost any given situation into a sexual fantasy. And with the same kind of compulsiveness. (I can't write the "what ifs" in this part of the forum.) I have a hard time not thinking about sex the same way I have a hard time not thinking about violence. The thoughts intrude on me all the time. Except that my fantasies rarely involve anything that could be considered painful. I may fear that I'm going to cut myself with a knife but the thought of being cut is the opposite of erotic. The exception is rape, which seems to combine the automatic sexual fantasies with the automatic violent fears. Except that I never actually get hurt in those fantasies because then it just stops being erotic. I don't have any paraphilias, if by paraphilia we mean a fixation on some specific kind of fantasy or object in order to experience arousal. The whole world is my playground.
I think masculinity is weaker because it has very fragile ego boundaries and the perception that it's always being encroached by the other. That's why people use the term 'fragile masculinity.' So a lot of it is just framing of masculinity as strong and femininity as weak.
Masculinity is weaker, because it's harder to be a "real man" than it is to be a "real woman". A "real man" is a man who can "rise to any occasion" and succeed. How many people can actually do that? No wonder so many men have fragile egos. By contrast, it's quite hard to fail as a woman. One can be so masculine physically and behaviorally that people stop thinking of you as a woman, or mistake you for a man, but that's relatively rare. One can be so ugly that no man has any interest in you. I think that's one way that women can feel like they've failed to be a woman.
But I meant that the trait itself pairs with masculinity, not femininity, in our culture (the "framing"). The stronger a person is, the more masculine they seem, regardless of how fragile masculinity is in practice. It's also paired with being an adult (vs being a child). Adults are supposed to be strong, only children are allowed to be weak. That's why we say that men who break down under stress are "acting like little girls" (the two pairings put together). When women criticize other women for being weak, they say "put on your big girl pants" but they don't generally say "stop being a man".