Schizoid Personality Disorder

Schizoid Personality Disorder isn’t a well-known personality disorder. This is likely because most people who have it, true to the nature of the personality disorder, are not ones to be very public about it, and often don’t even really view it as negatively impacting their lives (so long as people just leave them alone). I’ve been diagnosed with Schizoid Personality Disorder. It negatively impacts me insofar as, in (attempting to) be an author, I’m extremely bad at marketing myself. Here I’m going to just sort of stream-of-consciousness write about Schizoid Personality Disorder – or, at least, my experience with it.

Diagnostic Criteria for Schizoid Personality Disorder as Outlined in DSM V

  1. Detachment from social relationships with a restricted range of expression of emotions when they are in interpersonal settings. These begin in early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, such as four of the following:

    1. Neither desires nor enjoys close relationships
    2. Chooses solitary activities
    3. None or little interest in having sexual experiences
    4. Takes pleasure in few activities
    5. Lacks close friends or confidants
    6. Appears indifferent to praise or criticism
    7. Shows emotional coldness, detachment, or flattened affectivity
  2. Does not occur exclusively during the course of schizophrenia, a bipolar disorder or depressive disorder with psychotic features, another psychotic disorder, or autism spectrum disorder and is not attributable to the physiological effects of another medical condition

Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK559234/

schizoid personality disorder comic aloof and solitary

It is classified as a cluster A personality disorder, along with Schizotypal and Paranoid Personality Disorders. These other two are often accompanied by what might be thought of as more delusional thinking, which is not so much found in Schizoid Personality Disorder (hereafter called SPD). However, one way that SPD can manifest is with what is called Schizoid Fantasy. This may also be called maladaptive daydreaming. This is certainly something I experience, which is why I end up coming up with various stories and projects (like the tabletop RPG gaming system I’ve created).

maladaptive daydreaming

I tend to become absolutely obsessed with fantasies to the point that it affects my real life. I will put off everything from hygiene to answering texts/emails to opening my mail and paying bills while enraptured in my maladaptive daydreaming. The fantasy worlds in my mind are preferable to the real world.

The one overarching aspect of SPD, though, is the lack of interest in being social. For me, I experience this as a constant feeling of apathy. It’s not that I don’t have empathy or compassion – having SPD isn’t the same as being a sociopath (or psychopath, if there is even a distinction). It’s more like…if we’re friends, I like you, but lets only talk if there is some reason to do so (and, even then, maybe not). Having SPD means loving people from afar. Of course, this can come off as cold or immature to said loved ones. I don’t really have a solution for this impasse.

Also, as I’ve said, it makes it difficult to market myself. I abhor social media, which is what everyone says is the way one is supposed to sell books. Which is unfortunate, because being an author seems very suitable to someone with SPD (or, at least, my maladaptive daydreaming manifestation of it): I get to have a job that doesn’t require constant interaction with others while actually making my daydreaming go from maladaptive to…bene-adaptive? (portmanteau of beneficial and adaptive).

Mr Robot Elliot schizoid personality disorder
Elliot from Mr. Robot is probably one of the better representations of SPD on TV

But, for anyone who looks back through my posting record here on the blog, or on my Twitter, they’ll see that I’m very inconsistent. This networking business is more than a chore for someone with SPD, it’s an absolute nightmare. None if it is helped, either, by also having major depressive disorder, Tourette’s syndrome, and addiction issues. I’m a little over a year sober, but not a day goes by that I don’t have at least a flicker of a thought of relapsing.

Anyway, that’s about as much talking about myself as I can do in one sitting. It’s time to retire back to my fantasy worlds.

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