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10 Things I Want People to Know About My Schizoid Personality Disorder

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I was recently diagnosed with schizoid personality disorder. The event that brought me to my diagnosis was when my roommates asked me to leave after a year for not being “social
enough.” It devastated me and made me feel like a “freak,” and I wanted a diagnosis, a label, to help me feel like it wasn’t my fault and I wasn’t alone. I just needed to know what was “wrong” with me.

I thought at first I might have Asperger syndrome, and I demanded a test. I was then diagnosed with schizoid personality disorder. The symptoms can include emotional detachment, limited capacity to express emotions, choosing solitary activities, few close relationships, indifference to praise and criticism, little interest in sexual relations, taking few pleasure in activities, indifference to social norms and conventions, and finally, preoccupations with an inner fantasy world. But I’ve seen practically no articles written by people affected by this disorder. I want to break some stereotypes. Here are 10 things I want people to know about my schizoid personality disorder:

1. I do not talk a lot. Keeping a conversation is difficult for me, but that does not make me incapable.

2. I like spending plenty of time in my room. That does not mean I do not like you, nor am I a “snob.”

3. I do not always know how to act in a social situation, and that’s OK.

4. I may seem “weird” because I do not always abide by social norms. I’m unique.

5. I am human. Even though the symptoms can make me seem aloof and goalless, I have interests. I like karate, drawing comic strips and travel.

6. I want to work at a job that will require interacting with people, and I will work extra hard for that. It is not out of my reach.

7. I have a very developed imaginary world to compensate for my lack of social relationships. I can create beautiful art with this developed imagination.

8. I sometimes need time in isolation to “charge” before going back to interacting with people.

9. I am not dangerous. At all. I am not a socially-detached “madman.”

10. I do not need to be fixed. I am happy.

Image via Thinkstock.

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Originally published: November 17, 2016
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