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
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:
- (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.