Therapy is a waste of time for me - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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Therapy is a waste of time for me


I'm making this thread to see if anyone can convince me to go back to therapy.

I have tons of diagnosed and self-diagnosed disorders. OCD, SAD, GAD, schizoid personality disorder, and probably others. For anxiety disorders, I think that therapy is a valuable asset for recovery as is medication. My problem is that underneath my anxiety disorders, I believe, is schizoid personality disorder.

What is it? If you know schizophrenia, you'll remember it is divided into positive and negative symptoms. Positive symptoms are more outward and noticeable, such as hallucinations, delusions, thought disorder, etc. Negative symptoms are more about a lack of normal feeling, such as anhedonia (lack of pleasure), alogia (lack of speech), lack of interest in life, etc.

I believe I have a lot of the negative symptoms, which would make sense as I have schizophrenia in the family. However I've never had weird thoughts or any positive symptoms, so at the moment I fit the diagnosis for schizoid personality disorder.

Here's the thing: I think I could potentially use therapy to reach the point where I need no more medication for my anxiety. I do not, however, believe I could ever get rid of my schizoid stuff, which as far as I can see, is the cause of the anxiety.

Some may just say it's a form of shyness and I should learn to live with it, but these people have likely never experienced emotional disorders or know particularly much about science or psychology. If someone told me I had to live the rest of my life without drugs or medication, I would probably kill myself due to the extreme disability and lack of pleasure this is causing me.

From what I've read, intelligence is highly associated with schizoid personality, and these are some of the symptoms:

Quote:
  • (a) few, if any, activities, provide pleasure;
  • (b) emotional coldness, detachment or flattened affectivity;
  • (c) limited capacity to express either warm, tender feelings or anger towards others;
  • (d) apparent indifference to either praise or criticism;
  • (e) little interest in having sexual experiences with another person (taking into account age);
  • (f) almost invariable preference for solitary activities;
  • (g) excessive preoccupation with fantasy and introspection;
  • (h) lack of close friends or confiding relationships (or having only one) and of desire for such relationships;
  • (i) marked insensitivity to prevailing social norms and conventions.
Yeah yeah yeah very vague symptoms that could fit many people, but you only need 3 for a diagnosis and I fit all 9. Those online diagnostic tests also told me I have it.

A chemical called dopamine is heavily involved with motivation, pleasure and drive, as well as rational thought and much more. Schizophrenics are thought to have some abnormalities in their dopamine function, and the strange symptoms reflect this. Schizoid personality disorder is probably similar in some of its biological causes, with a lack of assertiveness, anhedonia and other symptoms present which are also present in schizophrenia.

If you've ever tried anti-psychotic drugs (or known someone on them), you will have noticed the reduced speech and lack of connection/concentration these cause (among other things) -- this is similar to how I feel every day. I've taken them and they exacerbated my schizoidness greatly, which helps my theory of dopamine dysfunction.

My mental problem may not be as overwhelming and noticeable as schizophrenia, but there has been something eating away at me since I was born. I've noticed these things all my life, but thought I would change. Not so; I am worse than ever.

People don't generally tell schizophrenics to ignore meds and talk to a psychiatrist, yet my psychiatrists wouldn't even consider prescribing something for me. Of course good old Dr. Internet wrote me a prescription straight away...

This mental disorder seems even less recognised than SAD, yet it has made a large portion of my life hell. My lack of social connection was acceptable when I was very young and there wasn't much to socialising, but it soon became clear that I was different. The anxiety developed years later as a result of this.

I think the problem is perhaps that it is seen as the disorder of being a loner, loser and social outcast and people just say "man up, grow some balls". I have plenty of balls, but not enough dopamine thanks. You could argue that a lot of mental disorders are due to problems in social hierarchy and other social issues, and I see this as no different.

I believe a sizeable amount of SAD sufferers also have this "social anhedonia" schizoid thing going on, and I believe these are the best responders to drugs like amphetamine. I will personally be taking a similar drug later in the week and reporting my results to this forum. I am about 90% certain that it will improve my symptoms greatly.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 04:58 PM
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a lot of the symptoms you have in common with schizoid personality disorder are also main features of severe depression and avoidant personality disorder, as well as schizophrenia.
despite the similar term schizophrenia and schizoid are considerably different disorders (other than the symptoms i'm referring to in the first part) - schizophrenia being solely based on chemical imbalances and although i'm not an expert i think most personality disorders are both environmental and chemical causes.

it's also important to note that a defining feature of schizoid is the complete lack of interest in social relationships. if someone truly had no interest, then they probably wouldn't go looking for a forum about support for their symptoms or disorder since they have absolutely no interest in people. they wouldn't even seek treatment because they don't think they have a mental disorder (which is different from being in denial). actually i think there's some slight controversy with this because people assume one has to be a certain way in society which is why mental health professionals probably feel they have to treat people with "schizoid" since they don't fit that proper definition of a healthy, productive member of society.

anyway those online surveys that supposedly diagnose you are pure bs to be frank. i think your symptoms sound much more like a combo of social anxiety, avoidant personality disorder and/or depression.


it's strange that your doc wouldn't prescribe meds actually, since much of what you are describing is depression. you should seek a second opinion if you are unhappy with the doctor. sometimes it takes a while to find a good one, anyway. good luck!
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 05:11 PM
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Depending on what therapy youre seeking their will be a waste of time and money. I suggest you find a medical opinion. I have had some symptoms of schizophrenia and or psychosis but not a personality disorder. their are specialists for personality disorders and anxiety disorders.

All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence and than success is sure," Mark Twain

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 05:39 PM
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I agree with 'nothing to fear'. I think she hit the nail on the head. Euphoria I feel your frustration. Its seems as if you know what problems you have then you are one step closer to a solution but don't be so hasty. I think you should seek a second or third opinion before making any major decisions.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 06:40 PM
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If you have read some of my other posts to others, you would know I believe that natural health habits are greatly benefical to our emotional and mental health. It might help you to see a reputable natural doctor or two in your area on your diet and supplements. Good quality proteins such as whey powder, lack of bad quality carbs such as no junk food but potatoes, pasta, fruit juice, rice, crackers instead and good quality fats like fish oil or other nut or seed fats - all these are involved in proper brain function. Also supplements that clean your colon or cause it to function better help greatly your ability to absorb what you eat. Good exercise without over doing is important. Supplements for the liver and immune system are helpful to anyone.

Consider the natural route to take, and maybe getting involved in a sport with others. How we feel inside naturally greatly affects how we feel about doing anything like interacting with others.

I am always still learning and new information is always coming out. I am always tweaking my diet.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 04:43 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nothing to fear View Post
a lot of the symptoms you have in common with schizoid personality disorder are also main features of severe depression and avoidant personality disorder, as well as schizophrenia.
I probably have avoidant personality disorder too, forgot to mention that. I consider APD and SAD sort of "symptoms" of my underlying schizoid personality though.

Quote:
despite the similar term schizophrenia and schizoid are considerably different disorders (other than the symptoms i'm referring to in the first part) - schizophrenia being solely based on chemical imbalances and although i'm not an expert i think most personality disorders are both environmental and chemical causes.
Schizophrenia is thought to be environmental and chemical-based too. I believe the same is true for schizoid personality.

Quote:
it's also important to note that a defining feature of schizoid is the complete lack of interest in social relationships. if someone truly had no interest, then they probably wouldn't go looking for a forum about support for their symptoms or disorder since they have absolutely no interest in people. they wouldn't even seek treatment because they don't think they have a mental disorder (which is different from being in denial).
I have no interest in interpersonal relationships until I change the way my brain works. I've always had a preference for solitary stuff, but I recently did a lot of drugs and broke out of my old thoughts, and experienced being social and happy. I believe a lot of schizoid people would want the same as me if they experienced it.

Quote:
it's strange that your doc wouldn't prescribe meds actually, since much of what you are describing is depression. you should seek a second opinion if you are unhappy with the doctor. sometimes it takes a while to find a good one, anyway. good luck!
He does prescribe escitalopram for anxiety, but won't consider any sort of stimulant for the other stuff.
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