Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

What is Schizoid?

14 posts in this topic

Posted

So years after getting a bipolar diagnostic, my new doctor says I have this.

What is this? Is a disease? He don't explain nothing to me. Could someone help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I mean I want some personal experience on this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I think there may be a few people around here with Schizoid PD but not many. So if you want personal experiences it may be worth searching or reading through the previous posts on here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I've been diagnosed with Schizoid PD.

One of the distinguishing factors of any PD is that it distorts perceptual reality, so I'm not sure how much of what I experience is common to those who don’t have Schizoid. Caveat emptor. You could be reading empty advice or just a lot of personal blabbering here.

At the core, the development of Schizoid can be summed up fairly simply. A child learns through peer and parent reactions that, whenever they express emotional or physical need, that causes the people around them to reject them, or be hurt. The child learns that there is no validation in emotional expression, and can even be vituperation or blame assigned. This profound invalidation leads to a host of problems with interpersonal relationships and emotional regulation.

Of course, the actual experience is very different among individuals. Folks with Schizoid may come from any background or culture, though my tdoc told me there are slight correlations with family heredity of Schizophrenia. There has also been a suggested link to families where a parent or sibling has Narcissistic traits. We tend to be a pretty diverse bunch. So again, what you're getting here is my personal experience, no more.

I didn’t even know I was ill for years. I thought I was getting less and less ill, and more and more in control of myself, the older I got. When I went to the doctor for suicidal thoughts and got into therapy, I was about 25. I had, at her best estimate from my personal recounting, been developing Schizoid for about 12 years by that point. I had no idea that any of the behaviors and thoughts the docs call symptoms weren’t common experiences among everyone. I still struggle with that concept.

Probably the most significant aspect of this disorder, for me at least, is an internal “splitting.” I am not talking about DID here, I want to be totally clear. I don’t have multiple personalities. I’m one person existing simultaneously in two selves, one in front and one behind, who are intertwined. Rather than being different consciousnesses, I am one consciousness present in two aspects.

The “front” self, that everyone sees, I call the automaton. Automaton self is the one who has performed the social tasks, such as visiting family, attending school or work, having hobbies, performing chores…all the things that people do in their day to day life. Automaton self functions completely fine on all things that people do, to such a degree that it passes among them more or less without detection, though it’s considered serious and perfectionist. That is because it’s had to try very hard to pass among others, and to its eye being a person is serious business.

The “behind” self, which no one is permitted to see, hides inside Automaton like an eccentric in a brightly decorated bunker. Inner self thinks more deeply than Automaton, whose skills are primarily designed for artifice, and is responsible for all true emotion. It is intelligent, creative, and very, very, very sensitive. Its antennae quiver at the slightest change in emotional barometer. It literally cannot cope with the rough external stimuli that Automaton deals with daily; if put under too much pressure it buckles, descending rapidly into significant depression and other problems.

I exist in these two consciousnesses to various degrees. When I am in my Automaton self, I am capable of functioning largely due to the fact that Automaton self is dissociated nearly all the time; in fact, dissociation, in a sense, is Automaton self. It is very common for me to spend a day at work, or going grocery shopping, and be unable to remember aspects of the time spent. I buy things I don’t remember buying, I get events from just a day or two ago mixed up or wrong, I lose things frequently, etc. I know that I am always “my usual self” during these memory blanks because I am seldom alone and have never had a single report of oddity.

I have large swaths of my life where my memory for events returns only with outside stimulus like prompting from others, or where the memory is gone completely. This is not just in my distant past, either; I have been away from my most recent job less than a month and already most of it has become muddled fragments which I am unable to piece together accurately. I often make mistakes in my own history, like when telling docs or others at what point in my life a certain thing happened (even an important event like a death).

All my social skills are hollow. I do attempt to be sympathetic and helpful; I like for stir ups to be settled quickly, because I don’t handle them well (to be honest I used to be a compulsive people pleaser for this reason). I am friendly to people, because I don’t want to be remembered, and I don’t want someone holding a grudge against me for something I may not remember even doing. I’ve learned how to be “a good listener;” ironically, in my Automaton self I am good at seeing people’s emotional difficulties objectively, and helping them get a different perspective. However, all that social functioning, while well meaning, is mechanical and hollow. It’s learned, rather than intuited or felt. I have no visceral understanding of social relationships, and no desire for them.

I in my Inner self can only tolerate interpersonal relationships, even with family, where there is a distance maintained. According to the tdoc, it’s because my needs as a child were treated as a threat by my parents, and met with rejection, or punishment. What I see in my experience is that anytime someone tries to establish anything more than slightly friendly, or attempts to pin me down into committing to something socially, I feel claustrophobic. I will avoid that person categorically until they stop reaching out. If I feel pinned down I have to fight down panic and depression. This is one reason why I’ve had such a hard time keeping a job. I have also never had any close friends, let alone anything that could be even remotely construed as a romantic relationship, for this same reason. I have struggled mightily to keep my membership here on CB.

I have such an abiding emotional numbness that I write it in my journal when I have an emotional reaction to something because that is remarkable. I feel nothing the vast majority of the time, and when I do have feelings, it tends to be “fight or flight” feelings like fear or anger. They are brief, and not very strong. I do have moments of emotional movement, but they are rare and I typically find them confusing.

I tend to exaggerate the risk of reaching out or putting myself out there. I have a reflexive need to “go along to get along.” When I do express an emotional need or problem, I struggle with the need to retreat from it, minimize it, or cover it up, even in a “safe“ environment like therapy. It has taken quite a bit of patience from my therapist, I’m pretty sure. I’m sometimes confused by how much of my feeling rejected is due to this, and how much is due to actual rejection by family, because tdoc has confirmed my thought that both take place.

I've written enough I think. Hopefully you will find something here relatable, though as I said before, the experience, like with any mental illness, can be highly individual, based on how the person got there.

There’s also a sticky here in the PD forum with a couple of good sites for information if you’re interested.

Edited by Mim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

OP, if after reading here and on wikipedia you still are looking for more information about schizoids, there is a good extended discussion in Millon's Personality Disorders in Modern Life that lays everything out in plain language.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Hmm Mim, that does sound and does not sound like me, if this make any sense. Thanks for the read, but I still think I'm rather bipolar that schizoid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

You're welcome. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I believe schizoid is when you have the negative symptoms of schizophrenia but none of the other symptoms.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I believe schizoid is when you have the negative symptoms of schizophrenia but none of the other symptoms.

 

You are thinking of Simple Schizophrenia, which is found in the ICD but not accepted in the DSM.

Edited by y58

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I believe schizoid is when you have the negative symptoms of schizophrenia but none of the other symptoms.

 

Just wondering ... what are the positive symptoms of schizophrenia?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Positive symptoms would be things like psychosis, disorganized thoughts, or delusions. But, for what it's worth, I have had issues with what my docs call psychosis for many years, hand in hand with the Schizoid traits, just like dissociation. The docs seem to think it's all tied in together. So I think one can display positive symptoms even without full blown schizophrenia.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

:) You're welcome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0