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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I originally posted this in an old schizoid thread I revived in the INTP subforum. No one has replied yet, though, and I since I realize that I'm more interested in advice than INTP perspectives anyway, I've decided to create this thread. I apologize for cluttering the forum with what is essentially a repost; hopefully I am not in violation of forum rules here.

I am seriously beginning to suspect that I am a schizoid. While I previously discounted the possibility because of my ability to experience powerful emotions, further investigation has led me to reconsider. I think the problem I'm having is inconsistency in available definitions of schizoidism (a term that I use purposefully, for reasons that will hopefully be evident by the time I finish writing).

If, for example, schizoid personality disorder is distinguished from a schizoid personality style, I unquestionably fall within the latter category (certainly to the extent that this represents a less extreme version of the former, at least). That said, if this distinction is made merely on a semantic basis—that is, as long as the individual does not perceive so-called “schizoid” behavioral patterns as substantially interfering with his or her life (or, arguably, where self-sufficiency is compromised to such an extent that any reasonable observer would be forced to conclude, even if the individual in question does not recognize it as such, that his or her behavioral approach constitutes such an interference), no such “disorder” exists—perhaps I am not a schizoid.


I sympathize with this distinction in the sense that, in my view, it makes no sense to consider something a disorder when a person is perfectly content with his or her life simply because he/she leads an anomalous lifestyle. I am not content. But while I fulfill more than four of the DSM-IV's criteria for SPD, it strikes me as highly counterintuitive that discontent alone is sufficient to justify an affirmative diagnosis. I feel like a high percentage of chronically depressed people whom few would consider legitimate candidates for schizoidism might qualify under this standard.


Nonetheless, the fact that I am functionally a schizoid, coupled with this excerpt from a SPD description is what initially prompted me to explore the subject once again:


“To others, you may appear dull or humorless. Because you don't tend to show emotion, you may appear as though you don't care about what's going on around you. However, although you may seem aloof, you may actually feel extremely sensitive and lonely.”

This definition contemplates a far greater capacity for emotion than what I understood as accessible to schizoids. After taking a test, encountering the aforementioned distinction between SPD and its associated “personality style,” and perusing a schizoid forum, my old suspicion has been officially rekindled.

I think the fundamental question I'm grappling with is whether schizoidism is to be understood as categorical and absolute (two groups: people who have SPD and people who don't—people either possess a capacity for experiencing close connection with others or don't, etc.) or as a continuum, with the potential for interpretive and more individualized diagnoses.

Further, I am uncertain how to approach diagnosis. In other words, to what extent is diagnosis open to interpretation in the case of definition two? What, if any, considerations come into play other than the DSM's criteria? Should I be assessing the “severity” of symptoms, for example (which obviously presents additional challenges), or does merely exceeding the DSM's minimum number of requirements warrant a diagnosis? I really want to avoid a “disorder vs. personality style” debate as such; the only reason I bring it up because of the uncertainty these competing definitions engender. I am interested in a “diagnosis,” whatever that means, only to the extent that it represents a presumption (predictably, whatever form that takes) upon which I ought to operate for the purpose of improving my life. I guess I should ask my psychiatrist for a formal evaluation . . . .
 

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What makes you think that you're schizoid? Aloof behavior in-and-of-itself has nothing to do with having a disorder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What makes you think that you're schizoid? Aloof behavior in-and-of-itself has nothing to do with having a disorder.
Sure. But my experience is far from limited to “aloof behavior” in terms of both how my life is structured and the disconnectedness and lifelessness I regularly feel. Rather than posting another wall of text and potentially unnecessarily sharing my life story, I'd initially encourage you to simply consider my results on this test: Schizoid Personality Test

I scored 33, which falls within the “HIGH” schizoid range. It's probably worth mentioning that I could have gone either way on a few items . . . but a score of 30-28 is about as conservative a range of results as I can realistically conceive, even after accounting for the weighting of these specific items and the possibility of general variability. This test is far from methodologically perfect (lack of opportunity for qualification/contextualization is a challenge that all multiple choice tests encounter), and it has certainly not singularly shifted my leaning on the matter by any appreciable degree. The true/false format includes further, particularized limitations (which were readily apparent as I took this test) as a necessary consequence of its unique structure.

Still, because the only real indication (based solely on this test and the DSM criteria, where “indication” is understood as deviation from the profile conjointly proffered by the two) that I am not a schizoid in some meaningful sense of the word is my tentative, conditional interest (as distinguished from obvious desire) in close relationships with others, this result, when considered in conjunction with other pieces of evidence to which I've alluded, seems more than adequate justification for the figurative eyebrow raise my first post might be most accurately interpreted to represent.
 

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Well, since the questions have no context, then I think that test is BS. If there is no extent built into the questions as framed by a context, there's no way you can take this seriously - it's just another stupid internet test. Who cares if you're highly introverted? Introversion isn't abnormal, unless it reflects a near 360 degree change in your personality over a period of 6 months.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, I guess this thread really is kind of silly. There is no substitute for professional evaluation, after all; I'm not sure what I was looking for here. Thanks to those who've contributed and to any others who took the time to read my long-winded nonsense.
 

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You don't seem very schizoid to me tbh. The fact that you actually care about this and ask about it on an internet forum already proves you're not that apathetic and withdrawn.

People who really have disorders tend to be unaware of these themselves, because it is normal to them. They often don't feel like they have a disorder themselves. That's how it seems at least, from what I've observed.

Is your apathy problematic to you or others around you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You don't seem very schizoid to me tbh. The fact that you actually care about this and ask about it on an internet forum already proves you're not that apathetic and withdrawn.

People who really have disorders tend to be unaware of these themselves, because it is normal to them. They often don't feel like they have a disorder themselves. That's how it seems at least, from what I've observed.
Well, I think this observation bespeaks the definitional trouble I mentioned. If we define a schizoid as exclusively an individual accurately diagnosed with schizoid personality disorder, and hold that this pathology is characterized by the complete absence of desire to interact with others and/or no capacity for emotional arousal, then I am unquestionably not a schizoid. But if the criteria are this demanding, I will argue that no one with SPD will seek treatment, by definition.

If we replace this categorical approach with a spectrum-based alternative, however, it is not at all clear to me whether I might be reasonably classified as schizoid. Also, I reiterate that I don't consider the mere confluence of atypical, traditionally undesirable traits among those who fall in the first group an appropriate basis for pathologizing what I simply regard as (having stated as much already) an anomalous lifestyle.

To answer your question, though, yes, my experience is problematic (not necessarily for others, since there are really no others “around me” to speak of). Apathy is one of several problems for me, I think, but I hesitate to overstate its role. My experience with apathy is less generalized and pervasive than it once was; now it's more of a localized, situational phenomenon. The real problem is anhedonia and its accompanying drain on my energy and motivation. I feel very lifeless and empty, and though I would obviously like to change this, I'm not sure what to do. Nothing is enjoyable, after all.
 

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From one xNTP perspective to another...

Ti is subjective (doesn't like external influence) and Ti-doms tend to send themselves into ever-increasing solitude to protect themselves from external influences that disturb their thoughts (thoughts which don't necessarily have anything to do with reality although this type would like others to believe so.)
Note: this is a summary
(Source: Jung's "Psychological Types")

You could read the whole thing stored here in verbatim:
http://www.celebritytypes.com/blog/2010/12/jungs-portrait-of-the-intp-istp-types/


You show a clear level of comfort with emotions and expressing them. You also seem to be very aware of your situation and the fact that something isn't right with the way things are going. All those things and more make me wanna say that this whole thing just sounds like you just have difficulty getting out of your head. Everything you said is exactly how I felt when I was locking myself up from people a few yrs ago when I didn't like leaving my head.

Hope this helps...
 
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