Francesco (Clemente)

Francesco (Clemente)

Schizoid Personality Blog

creative blog of a schizoid personality

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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Schizoid Personality Traits or Symptoms?

SP or SPD? If you want to know a professional's point of view - ask a therapist. Don't want to ask a therapist? Read on, but don't expect to find an absolute truth to match what you have in mind.

Some traditionally labeling scientific conclusions mixed with unofficial thoughts on schizoid personality disorder vs. schizoid personality issue.

Diagnostic Criteria for Schizoid Personality Disorder (DSM* and WHO**)
  • detachment from social relationships - neither desires nor enjoys close relationships
  • almost always prefers solitary activities
  • has little interest in experiencing intimacy with other person
  • takes pleasure in few, if any, activities
  • lacks close friends or confidants other than first-degree relatives
  • seems indifferent to praise or criticism
  • indifferent to social norms and conventions
  • preoccupation with fantasy and introspection
  • emotionally cold and inexpressive.
more on schizoid personality traits according to Guntrip: (Guntrip is the champion, or one of them)
  • introversion - being emotionally cut off from reality is safer, so a schizoid individual prefers safety within their inner world
  • withdrawness - emotional withdrawness
  • narcissism - arises from the interior life the schizoid lives
  • self-sufficiency - independence prevents any 'external' reliance or, even worse, dependence
  • sense of superiority - suggests being at a horizontal distance from others
  • loss of affect - often manifests itself as genuine confusion, a sense of something missing in one's emotional life
  • loneliness - 'loneliness in the midst of a crowd'
  • depersonalization - tuning out, some acute defense against overwhelming anxiety (danger)
  • regression - to a place of ultimate safety.
more on schizoid relationships: it is possible for schizoid individuals to form relationships based on all modes of relating - intellectual, physical, occupational etc. as long as they do not require or force emotional closeness. Donald Winnicott: 'Schizoid individuals prefer to make relationships on their own terms and not in terms of the impulses of other people'. If they cannot do so, they choose isolation.

Acc. to Gunderson, 'people with SPD feel lost without the people they are normally around because they need a sense of security and stability.' But when their personal space is violated, they feel suffocated and feel the need to free themselves. This means that people with schizoid personality can be most satisfied (as much as it's possible) when they are in a relationship in which a partner places few emotional demands on them.

more on schizoid sexuality: schizoid individuals may have a normal sex drive though their need for sex may appear less tangible than for those with no schizoid traits. Official sources say schizoids can last long without sex. Some schizoids prefer solitary sex to dealing with the social (and emotional) aspects of finding a partner.

Some unofficial subjective thoughts and quotes on schizoid personality
  • Indifference or self-preservative wariness? Coldness or caution? Emotionlessness or difficulty expressing emotions? Scientific conclusions sound safe but sometimes resemble harsh ultimatums. A bit of human approach is important (not too much).
  • "The traditional DSM diagnostic criteria is based around how you present yourself to others. It doesn't matter if you think or feel that a life of a solitude is dismal or not, what matters is how you convey your thoughts to others in real life For example, a person thinks 'I need love', but tells therapist 'I don't need anyone else', and the therapist sees the patient as schizoid. This rift between the inner and outer world of the schizoid is their biggest problem'. 
  • "I can think about sex all day, but if I don't approach girls or show any visually defined interest in real life, then that's a schizoid characteristic -- others will think I'm asexual or whatever no matter how I feel "on the inside", this is the difference between overt and covert schizoid characteristics"
  • "People really should not be told about personality disorders. They so have a tendency to take all the descriptors and think of those personality traits as the disorder. The traits are simply traits of people in general, that tend to cluster in people with rigid personality styles. They cluster to a degree that they become very narrow and rigid and unable to adjust flexibly to life and people and circumstances. It really is all a matter of DEGREE, not a matter of having such and such trait. If you had no traits, you'd also have no personality. zero. Being eccentric is also not a personality disorder. Being dysfunctional and unhappy, or impossible to deal with, is one though."
  • "A person can have all the characteristics of any given personality disorder, but so long as they're functional, they don't really have a disorder." Now define your standards of being functional, analyze, self-ironize...
...and feel free to (with)draw your own conclusions.

* DSM - The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
**WHO - The World Health Organization

1 comment:

  1. interesting article i have realized what iam my lack of interest in people is replaced with solitary activities such as drawing,painting and script writing, schizoid is a personality type not a disorder