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unusual diagnosis, plz help a noob : Schizoid Personality Disorder Forum
Am I Schizoid? I ask because I’m being pressured by my family to talk about it and the reading it’s taken to familiarize myself with it is a bit much for me. No pronounced family history of Autism, PDs, Schizophrenia Spectrum or ADHD, but I’d never know about these things because I never talk to the extended family. Altogether, my family is mostly psycho-normative and successful … mostly. I haven’t suffered from major depression in years and I don’t consider myself to be socially phobic in any real way. No hallucinations or delusions. Perpetual depersonalization, sometimes derealization. Very moderate, legal cannabis user and latent alcoholic. Nicotine and caffeine are my muses.
Culturally, I’m irreligious/apatheist who was raised hardcore Catholic. The short story is they did not take this well to the slightest degree. Before 14, I generally enjoyed going to church every Sunday. It was a good community – formative. I enjoy learning about religion, I just don’t understand why people expect me to have the answers to questions which are above my pay grade, regardless of what they are. I was the proverbial prodigal son: a (kinda) individualist in a household run by overzealous moralists. Could be thought of as abuse, in my opinion.
I see my three older siblings regularly and I enjoy being with them and my dad. But, predictably, my relationship with my mother is different. I think the strongest possibility is she’s undiagnosed Borderline. On one level it’s true that she’s a symbol to me of everything I’ve hated about my life so far. Emotional ambivalence is exactly the right term. I’m starting to see how I’ve been doing everything for her approval all along. I’m afraid that if I take that away from her there might be nothing else left between us. Codependence? But I believe our relationship isn’t so damaged that it can’t be maintained for its own sake, which is a blessing.
I was a quiet, sweet, obedient kid before maybe 9. Then I started falling behind in school. After that I was known as the funny, creative, smart kid, but school was a constant problem in every way. My family was an A-B family so Cs and Ds were not tolerated. Screaming, lots of screaming. This pattern of failure continued through high school. I went to one semester at public school and I literally slept through that. Sleep deprivation was my worst enemy – so much so that not being able to sleep is my only phobia. Then I did online public high school until I dropped out at 17. By then I made the full transition into reclusive weirdo. Altogether, single worst experience of my life thus far. I’d always had friends and social hobbies, but that just dissolved. So, I taught myself Algebra, got my GED and went to college anyway, working on-and-off. Graduated last Fall. Now 25 years old.
My mother dragged me to therapy between 15-16 because I tried to run away to be a street bum. In retrospect, I suspect this was a bipolar episode. Nothing much came of that therapy spat. Went back to the same therapist at 22 for stress management because I was overwhelmed at college. That turned into formal diagnoses of ADHD (combined), DSPD (eight full hours delayed – fun), and Bipolar I. For what it’s worth, I can see some SCT, paranoia and obsession in me too. That whole process took about 2-3 years. My psych took me off his priority list, so I flew on my own with no therapy for one year. This was under the precondition that I was going to build a social life: friends, a long-term relationship and maintain my family life. I hadn’t had a social life for about five years. I came back after a year of essentially doing nothing but working or studying. School wasn’t nearly as difficult for me by then with meds.
Skipping to the present, I occasionally leave the house to play tabletop but, even though I enjoy it, I think of it as a chore which I wouldn’t otherwise do if I wasn’t trying to live “normally”. I got another girlfriend about three months ago (the first I met in real life) and that’s going well, so that’s something. But I’m afraid that all the language I seem to organically use in reference to these problems is related to obligation. I honestly assumed I would emerge from my cocoon and have a wonderful life (seeing as I’m still smart, wry and engaging in short bursts) but that didn’t happen over the course of an entire year: 1. couple numbers I never text, 2. new girlfriend, 3. that’s it. I understand that it takes a lot of time to build and maintain a social life, but I’m concerned so few steps were taken. I started to fear it was because I just couldn’t care. So, I looked up asociality on Wikipedia and discovered that it’s actually a symptom of not that many disorders. I brought a list to my shrink and we started looking at them one by one for maybe two months now. Now I’m posting on this forum for help.
I’ll conclude with some of my thoughts. One of my pet peeves (and I have a list I keep) is that people constantly suspect I do nothing with my time. My time is just as invaluable as anyone else’s. I like my weed, but it’s not weed and Netflix all day every day. I don’t even like television or video games. This really bothers me because if people would just ask or show any interest, they’d know I’m not sad when I’m alone: I’m happy. I do tabletop, read voraciously and take notes, expand my vocabulary, learn ancient languages, play guitar, do some creative writing, keep up with current events, exercise, work and I used to draw when I was a kid. I have a small circle of acquaintances, a useless diploma, a relationship and a job. What the ###$ else do they want me to do? be a glowing celebrity? My inner life is so full of space and depth, but real life feels like a constant struggle to fit in. I’m perversely hoping to discover that those expectations may never be met, hence Schizoid. So, I’m preparing to get a few simple things across to the fam: I’m not crazy; I don’t hate you; and I like spending time by myself. World, stop telling me otherwise.
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