06 June 2014

Schizoid girl.

Edward Hopper: "Morning sun" (1952)
Premising that I am neither a Psychiatrist nor a Psychologist, I would like to illustrate what follows.

A few years ago, I've had the opportunity to have (formal, but repeated) relationships with a young woman (by the way, of an amazing and unnatural beauty, never seen before).

Every short meeting (of strictly professional nature) with her, created in me a incomprehensible but persistent feeling of facing an inextricable enigma, a mystery carefully hidden, an unconfessable secret ("secret" that, I do not know why, but I had tended to put in relation with the history of his family or with a his unknown, intimate and precocious pain): unsettling feeling that I immediately perceived as totally independent of her aesthetics undoubtedly dazzling.

I was (and still today, I am) a Lawyer, and, even for professional habits, I have had relationships with a large number of people (often possessing personalities and personal stories that are also very bizarre and extra ordinem) and, therefore, I have developed an inexorable special psychological analysis skill. Yet, I had never met a person so atypical and original, so stimulating yet boring, so fragile yet rough, so linear yet contorted, so fascinating yet banal, so full of charm yet extremely raw. And never I had experienced this impalpable yet insisted feeling of having to face an emotional diaphragm so invisible yet so rigidly hermetic like a Tiffany's showcase.

She was swinging between loudly aggressive attitudes (of contempt) and loudly defensive attitudes (of secretiveness). And the more I was trying to show her the unfoundedness and the not necessity of these her attitudes (demonstrating to her, respectively, my authoritativeness and my reliability), and, paradoxically, the more I was going to strengthen her conduct.

Under the first profile (contempt), she seemed eternally peripherally focused on something outside of the current context, as if she were the only adult and smart person in a world populated by objects, androids and useless jerks.

Under the second profile (secretiveness), she seemed the only possessor of the magic formula for changing any filth in solid gold 24 kt and that everyone wanted to steal at she this philosophal stone, unwisely deprive she of his privilege.

Well, if I could easily to connect her contempt to the narcissistic drift of her dazzling beauty, what thet seemed absolutely incomprehensible to me was the reason of her extreme secretiveness-confidentiality-circumspection, of her silence, of her fearful intolerance for any interlocution, of her self-protective and distrustful behaviour. I confess to having done the most bizarre hypotheses to justify such an attitude: I have seriously assumed that she could be an illegitimate daughter, or that she could have a first-degree family member with a striking criminal history, or that she could have been a childhood/pre-adolescential abuse, or that she could be a secret omosexual.

She appeared to me, always, inexplicably engaged in a his self-contained universe (so, involuntarily, proclaiming this to all), and, always, inexplicably committed to conceal this its self-sufficient universe (or, at the worse, committed to not allow access to this his private universe, when its existence it was eventually unveiled). A universe of which she was jealous but of which she had also ashamed. An operation so unintentionally theatrical, as theatrically hidden (and the more she tried to hide or to misrepresent this secret, the more she revealed this its mood). His strength was also his weakness: undoubtedly, a loud paradox.

Its attitudes seemed to me with a double meaning:

  • formally, very mature, (but, substantially, childish), 
  • formally, very fascinating (but, substantially, clumsy), 
  • formally, very uninhibited (but, substantially, rarely spontaneus), 
  • formally, very self-confident (but, substantially, often uncomfortable). 
  • formally, very indifferent (but, substantially, irritated by the interaction with others), 
  • formally, very independent (but, substantially, continuously aimed at research of the other's intention, for preventively evading it), 
  • formally, very self-controlled (but, substantially, prone to impulsive reactive acts). 

In other words, she was, formally, so full of solid and structured personality, as, substantially, totally devoid of personality, with a unusually huge gap between these two aspects, the apparent and the real, of its relational skill.

His proxemics, his kinesics, her logical processes, revealed me, quickly and accurately (even in response to precise my stresses), its conducts as: 

  • stereotyped, not spontaneous; 
  • dichotomous, extremes, devoid of modulation; 
  • with a strong internal contradiction (the purpose theoretical and pompously proclaimed and prosecuted, contradicts diametrically the purpose true and clumsily ill-concealed); 
  • inappropriate, unsolicited from the objective needs of the context. 

However, strangely, I could not make a synthesis, a "reductio ad unum", a overall analysis of all these typical indicators.

Therefore, without specific psychological skills, after an endless series of frustrating and fruitless attempts of global understanding of these individual phenomena, I decided, as a last resort, to consult the web, typing into a search engine the salient features ("detachment", "coldness" and "reservedness"), which seemed to me to be able to report immediately to the behavior of this young woman. Well, like St. Paul on the road to Damascus, I was suddenly struck by the uniqueness of the results obtained: Schizoid Personality Disorder (S.P.D.)! And, not by chance, when, subsequently, I have in-depth scientifically the study of S.P.D. (and I has could recognize and observe other schizoids of both sexes), I found, whenever, the perfect coincidence between many other features that I had noticed in this girl and the coded features of this disorder.

Tamara de Lempicka: "Portrait de Ira P." (1923)
Far be it from me to tell if the schizoid personality disorder has or does not have a pathological significance, what leads me to write on this subject is the almost non-existent knowledge that the public (and a good part of Psychologists...!) has of the schizoid personality and, consequently, the need to clarify the schizoid behavior in interpersonal relationships.

Indeed, as all others disorders of personality, even the schizoid disorder is egosyntonic (the subject recognizes the own symptoms and you feel in tune with they and, therefore, does not prove uncomfortable, feeling the above symptoms as physiologically consistent with the rest of own personality); so, only a minority of subjects carriers of a personality disorder warns the unsustainability of own personality and, therefore, feels the need to consult a Psychologist or a Psychiatrist to try to solve the own problem.

But, unlike all other "personality" taken in consideration by the D.S.M. ("Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders"):

  • the schizoid personality has a much higher difficulty on referral to a Psychologist or a to a Psychiatrist: a rigid difficulty (often insurmountable) on to talk about himself with others and on to describe to the others its own emotions; 
  • the schizoid personality (that one hard and pure, rigidly structured!) has a very low percentage of incidence in the world population, compared to that of almost all the other "personalities", percentage that I consider to estimate realistically around the 1-2 %.
All this means that Psychologists and Psychiatrists have an opportunity to examine, in corpore vivo, a very limited number of cases of schizoid personality and, therefore, to produce a scientific literature, in the field of schizoid personality, extremely reduced!

Therefore, my intention is to describe the S.P.D. using, above all, the results of my practical experience and of my analysis (and not using, as much as possible, the findings of the poor scientific literature): this to avoid at the schizoids (and, above all, at to their aspiring interlocutors, in particular, to those emotionally most florid and needy!) bitter misunderstandings and humiliating frustrations (obviously, though here I will talk about the female schizoids, mutatis mutandis, my observations will also apply to the male schizoids).

I go to list below, in detail and under different aspects, all the specific factors that I feel I have enucleated in that girl (that I think) schizoid:

  • marked intolerance at the eye contact, active and passive. Very rarely his glance is addressed to the others. When looks the others, his glance is shifty or impersonal and directed to the face: if directed at the eyes (rarely), is a oblique glance, tense and disenchanted, that lingers for no more than 1-2 consecutive seconds.
  • very marked intolerance to the physical contact, active and passive (especially, when the physical contact is very light and slight!), with manifestations of immediate retraction or fear when she is touched. However, though very rarely, in a sort of involuntary and unconscious "black-out of own body's awareness"she can have totally unexpected episodes of physical contact active and strongly uninhibited, or may not notice to show parts (accidentally discovered), evidently intimate, of her clothing or of body. 
  • rigid demarcation and unyielding defense of the own physical space (a interpersonal space such as to never allow an intimate distance). If can not secure for herself an adequate interpersonal distance, she tends to show own side or turn one's back on, in front at the interlocutor, or tends to sit and curl up.
  • standing, with a potential interlocutor that are approaching, tendency to join hands or to retain an any object between both hands or to put your hands on your thighs or in your pocket; in any case, all this in order to have excuse for not having to shake hands with at this potential interlocutor. If she is forced to shake hands at the interlocutor, looks elsewhere or extends much his arm, but keeping the trunk far behind, and, in any case, holding the hand concave.
  • recurrent tendency to stay alone, sitting, longly in silence and in a state of ordered quiet (if she is sitting in front of interlocutors, tends to have own arms crossed and/or own legs crossed, and/or the elevation of the two upper epiphysis, with lowering the neck and the head, or tends to sit slantwise, orienting his legs at 45° to the interlocutor).
  • discomfort and anxiety in having to frequenting crowded environments.
  • tendency to sneak off in front at the human relationships.  
  • recurrent need of take clear-cut and absolute pauses (of a few hours or of a few days) in socialization, as for to "recharge" himself and for to focus exclusively on own inner world: a classic behavior of this type is that of to interrupt of the receptivity of own cell phone and/or to absent himself suddenly and unpredictably, taking refuge in strictly private places or in unknown places (making lose own tracks). The very few married schizoids and the schizoids living with their parents often they tend to reserve yourself an own additional room with strictly exclusive access, or to purchase (or rent) a further (also small) apartment to be used as a "shelter".
  • recurring composure and rigid self-control (absolute absence of facial mimicry - so-called "poker face" - and of manual micro gestures); however, very brief but acute and impulsive behaviors of snobbery, impatience, retreat, fugue.
  • very wide movements of arms and of legs (never spontaneous, always mechanical and almost robotic, with a rather martial gait), with stiffness and absence or shortage of flexion in the elbows, in the knees and in the torso.
  • tendency to walk with head well erect, or with the head much tilted forward (but keeping your back straight).
  • walking putting at the ground, above all, the toes of foot (and very little the heel): so-called "toe-walking". From sitting, rests on the ground above all the heels. In any case, poor contact with the ground.
  • preconceived and wrong-headed distrust of others.
  • cheeky ostentation of own operational autonomy and of own self-confidence, with reaction of undisguised and proud impatience before the proffers of cooperation of others. 
  • blatant and theatrical flaunting of emotional coldness, of snobbish aloofness and nonchalance, but, in reality (though silently and secretly), absolutely tireless and obsessive in to monitor others's behaviors (as a sort of CCTV-closed circuit surveillance camera), in order to prevent their relational attempts.
  • cynicism somewhat smug.
  • secretly envious (highly dismissive of the success of others; strongly tending to ridicule the failure of others).
  • resistance (silent, omissive and obstinate) in not wanting to perform unwanted obligations, or in the not take unforeseen responsibilities or into not answer to direct questions that require an answer clear and source of commitment.
  • oscillation between behaviors of blatant ostentatition of superiority, arrogance, haughtiness, pompousness, snobbery, sufficiency, boredom, huff, irritation, snooty contempt, almost of disgust, and behaviors defiladed and a bit disconsolate, dejected and disheartened, which occasionally becomes of respect, of obsequious and, unexpectedly, even of deference.
  • slight but constant formal inadequacy. If she is kind (rarely), is so in a stereotypical way, hastily, with affectation and emotional distance.
  • serious difficulties in expressing verbal or gestural delicacy, and at unease when is being treated with verbal or gestural delicacy.
  • rapid oscillations between virginal or prudish attitudes (sober composure like that of a convent-school girl, a nineteenth-century teenage girl's sexual prudery a bit like that of certain goody-goody girls of a novel by Jane Austen, clothing distinctly formal, austere, colorless, vaguely outmoded, androgynous and sloppy), and seductive or uninhibited behaviors (clothing, makeup and hairstyle, extremely sophisticated and captivating, feminine, fashionable, coquettish, vain and alluring, eccentrically seductive, flashy).
  • behaviour of obstinate reluctance and of capillary subtraction at the more physiological and respectful intersexual dialectic (schizoid behaviour that the not schizoids, inesorably misunderstands, wrongly, as strong virginal modesty and extreme sense of sexual decency).
  • facing an emotive, affective and sentimental direct manifestations of others, she has very inexorable attitudes of elusion, of rationalization, of intellectualization, of disapproval, of derision, of intolerance, of contempt (...and, even, of panic and of fugue!). Astutely, she always tends to accredit in others the belief that their emotive or affective or sentimental direct manifestations are, objectively and inexorably, illegitimate or unjustified or exaggerated or inappropriate or immoral or mischievous or instrumental or untimely or unclear or un-serious or childish or in bad faith or ironic (etc.); therefore, she always tries stubbornly any pretext to convince others of own objective impossibility of evaluate these manifestations on their merit and on their objective substance (cowardly trying to speddling as objective an impossibility instead merely presumed and subjective, and downloading on the others the responsibility for this own alleged impossibility), in order of not to show its profound disregard for human relationship in general, but, above all, in order of not having to refuse, directly and in the merit, the emotional, affective and sentimental direct manifestations, and, thus, really get in human contact with each other, albeit temporarily.
  • strong reservedness (which, at times, results in rigid and impermeable secretness!) respect to own privacy, even with reference to details clearly marginal or utterly insignificant.
  • pride.
  • touchiness (secret, but profound).
  • demeanor of seriousness and maturity ostentatious (almost vaguely hieratic and solemn), not infrequently so redundant and inappropriate as to result rather ridiculous.
  • a very few initiatives of irony (almost always, with a cynical, derisive and sarcastic background, extremely steeped of perfidy). Not collects ever the irony of others. Complete absence of self-irony!
  • smile almost completely absent; absolutely rare laughter (entirely unexpected and unpredictable, very tender and delicate, but ridiculously childish, through clenched teeth).
  • absolutely rare explosions of excitation, enthusiasm and euphoria (entirely unexpected and unpredictable, much short but vibrant, really amazing, very naive and that reminiscent of those typical of the first adolescence, grossly disproportionate and exaggerated compared to the their probable cause, and in inconceivable logical contradiction with the previous behavior of absolute detachment and indifference).
  • speech rare, slow, tiring, weary, sometimes preceded by a initial short exhalation (as of one who feels compelled to carry out, for the umpteenth time, a wasteful, useless and redundant activity), concise, laconic, pragmatic, always assertive, never interrogative and with late replies, without tonal variations, in tone medium-low, sometime with a cadence slightly singsong, vaguely admonitory and professorial, with stereotyped, formal, trite, rhetorical and of circumstance phraseology.
  • limited vocabulary (alogia), poor of terminological variety.
  • poor descriptive ability (especially in describing emotional and artistic experiences).
  • difficulty, discouragement and irritation to thinking in metaphor, in use of symbolic models, in understanding of verbal nuances or of puns or of verbal innuendo and allusions or of figurative or surreal or paradoxical language or of idiomatic phrases or of subtle irony, with a certain tendency to interpret literally the phraseology of others.
  • ease in carrying out of solitary and/or of executive activities.
  • mnemonic skill higher than average, sometimes even formidable.
  • dichotomous thinking. Analysis and judgment always rotate between two opposites ("tertium non datur"), and every time that she is required a gradation in analysis and in judgement, she believes that these gradations not are important or are useless or misleading (etc.). [This rigidly dichotomous structure of Schizoid and its inability to grasp the possible nuances of the others's analysis and judgment, in the long run, induces the Schizoid to a progressive cognitive detachment from reality, and ie, often: 1) to analyze and to judge the reality in very net and sharp terms (when the analysis originates from her...), and, on the other hand, to believe that the great part of reality is not objectively analysable and judgeable (when the analysis comes from the others and it is different from its own...), 2) to perceive the analyzes and judgments of others, when articulated and complex and not coinciding with the own, as an expression of speciousness and captiousness, and then almost like a treacherous personal attack at own intellectual dignity.].
  • parsimony in the spending on services and on consumables or perishable goods. Spending sometimes conspicuous for durable goods.
  • frugality in the feeding.
  • slender body constitution.
  • long-limbed hands, very slender and long fingers, thin wrists.
  • cold hands, with a mechanical and little progressive tactility.
  • absent sweating.
As can be seen, it is a personality full of contradictions and of rapid oscillations between diametrical opposites:
- ostentation / secrecy,
bravado / awkwardness,
arrogance / fear,
- maturity / childishness,
- indifference / vigilance,
- anesthesia / hyperesthesia.
Amedeo Modigliani: "Portrait of woman with black tie" (1917)
A personality that, when is forced to the sociality, is characterized by an unconscious use of articulated and stubborn techniques of deterrence, intended to discourage and demotivate any potential interlocutor and, therefore, intended to minimize the probability of human relationships (in particular, of non-formal and intimate human relationships) and the related risks of emotional and physical contact.

So, the schizoid is continuously pledged to prevent (or, in the worst of cases, to sabote) the begin the own interpersonal relationships (before, with the predisposition of wide physical space between himself and the other person; after, if necessary, with the demarcation of interpersonal distance, through the predisposition of physical obstacles between himself and the other person). When, despite the use of the previous precautions, it is not possible to avoid the human relationship (because it is partially already started), the schizoid repeats the same two previous shrewdness, but, this time, by applying it to no longer at the physical distance but at the emotional distance and, therefore, predisposes an emotional distance with the interlocutor and after, if appropriate, interposes an emotional obstacle between himself and the other person.

Much of the life of the schizoid is occupied by the adoption of these measures, applied progressively in the following order:
  • the remoteness (1st)
  • the surveillance (2nd),
  • the delimitation (3rd)
  • the deterrence (4th).
When, despite the adoption of the previous measures, the other part is able to enter into emotional and physical intimacy with the schizoid, the latter, often, goes in psychotic short circuit, and resorts to the 5th and last measure:
  • the escape (principally, physically moves away; but, even, pretends to not understand the context or, suddenly and radically, change the speech, etc.).
Obviously, this compelling need of the schizoid to avoid (and, at worst, to saboter) any chance of sociability, however, in terms of logic, obliges the same schizoid to justify (in the eyes of interlocutors, but, above all, in the eyes of himself!) this his autarkic position, this his autistic isolationism, so pervasively compulsive how so physically exhausting and mentally expensive. For this reason, the schizoid, accordingly, unconsciously but inevitably, for make logical sense accomplished at own personality, ends to builds an own superior ego, an grandiose image of himself (in my view, also to builds a sort of mythology of himself and of its past, reworking all it in key fantastic and self-referential, with extensive use of the mechanisms of denial and of removal): an self-image that, therefore, authorizes the schizoid to be considered himself rightly autonomous and self-sufficient (and, then, not needy of contribution of others). And, not for chance, in this way, the schizoid reproduce, unconsciously, the maternal and paternal subliminal message (very primordial, selfish, deceitful and silly, very typical of schizoids parents or of narcissistic parents): an message tense to instilling, surreptitiously and sneakily, in the same their son, an belief to be existentially very special and absolutely higher (for clean the own parental conscience, and for fictitiously indemnify their son of the own parental inability to give affection).

Well, just when the schizoid explains its isolation (autistic start) as a necessary effect of its autonomy (obsessive-compulsive transit) and, after, explains this its autonomy as a necessary effect of his claim intellectual superiority (narcissistic arrival), I think it is precisely then that the fate of the schizoid is accomplished. In this way, in fact, the schizoid repeatedly misunderstands and exchanges the cause from the effect, and acquires habituality with this pattern of thinking, and, in doing so, it abandons itself to the undoubtedly genetic component of one's style of thought but lost definitively the the ability to track down the most strictly psychological and cultural component of his psychic isolation.

Hans Rudolf Giger: "Work n.217, ELP II" (1973)
Synthesizing at the extreme the features I listed above, the schizoid personality seems to me, very suggestively, a very bizarre mixture between two factors:
  • NARCISSISM (grandiose image of himself, absent empathy, cynism, ostentation of indifference, superiority, arrogance, contempt, haughtiness and snobbery),
  • AUTISM (intolerance at the eye contact, intolerance to the physical contact, difficulty to understanding the psyche of others).
A binary system in which the narcissistic component appears to be slightly prevalent on the autistic component.

A mixture in which, anyway, each of two those elements justifies the other, and, in turn, resends back to him, in a vicious loop, intended to self-feed himself. A fusion through which the schizoid seals his fate of unknowable and ineffable monad (that all observes, but always unnoticed by everyone). However, even before a hard shell, a defensive personality, perched, wrapped in a tangle of rusty wire and quintessential of anti-empathy, structured to reject, you can see a tender core, a very fragile soul, as stubbornly attached to an infant stage and in eternal waiting of a refund that she unconsciously know that will never come (as the pension of the "Colonel", in "El coronel no tiene quien le escriba" by Gabriel García Márquez).

The narcissistic necessity of indifference to the condition of others and the autistic necessity of the intolerance of the condition of others, both generate in the Schizoid a need to affirm his Ego, to "survive", and, thus, to affirm its "right to exist": this obliges the Schizoid, in a sort of cascade effect, to a number of consequential behaviors:

1) to foresee and monitor obsessively the behavior of others. This, leads the Schizoid to accumulate enormous amounts of data about its own, though poor, relational life and, in this way, not a few schizoids, paradoxically, they end up to thinking in good faith they've matured a remarkable psychological ability to read other people's personalities and other people's intentions, not rarely boasting this their supposed ability. However, in truth, it is a mechanical, non-organic, and non-intuitive memory, since the Schizoid has a really poor ability to read non-verbal behaviors of others. A Schizoid is able to remember every detail of a brief and insignificant dialogue of many years ago, but, easily, he might be clamorously unable to remember the emotional attitude of his interlocutor of then, or also the wider context in which that dialogue had happened;

2) to constantly postponing every other need, and removing all that she considers potentially threatening for his existence and for his psychic integrity, and, that is:

2a) the emotive (and physical) proximity to others; when you talk to a Schizoid of "feelings" or "affections" or "emotions", if you will have the rare privilege of not being pulled away briskly by her or not being openly mocked by her, you will notice that Schizoid will observe you with piety, with charity (a little as the adult people look their children at when they say that the neonates bring them the stork): the "emotions" (and, more to say, the "affections" and the "feelings") for an Schizoid are like the UFOs or the Parapsychology or the Astrology: they are all bullshit for naive people!

2b) the recognition and the awareness of one's own emotivity, with the consequent acceptance of the impossibility of total self-control of his own emotional sphere. Then, at the Schizoid is almost totally unknown the experience of "pleasure" (namely, of gratification, of happiness, of fun, of enthusiasm), experience that the Schizoid finds incomprehensible, vague, energetically expensive and tiring, not objectivable, ephemeral, deviant and, ultimately, useless. This continuing distance from the "pleasure", generates in the Schizoid a progressive anhedonia and a growing boredom, which, at the thresholds of mature age, can easily lead to Depression.

In classical and canonical terms, we could say that the Schizoid is not a Shy/Avoidant/Neurotic, but is a Introvert / (potentially) Psychotic.
  • The Shy/Avoidant/Neurotic is the one who aspires to relate to others, but that avoids the interpersonal relationship for fear of being rejected or of appear inadequate (typical case is that of the Depressed). Conversely, the Introvert does not aspire to relate to others (a typical case is that of the Schizoid).
  • The Neurotic perceives the reality correctly, but struggles to adapt to this. Conversely, the Psychotic has difficulty already in the first stage, that of reading of the reality (a reality that in fact perceives altered).
  • The Shy/Avoidant/Neurotic has known the Love, but then lost it (for example, for a mourning or for a surrender). Conversely, the Schizoid has never known the Love.
* * *
Not infrequently, it may happen that the schizoid personality possesses also typical profiles of the obsessive-compulsive personalityIn this case, there will be an accentuation of the follow schizoid character:
  • ostentation of autonomy and of self-confidence (which here becomes rigid operational autonomy, with reluctance to delegate the carrying out of activities).
And there will be also additional typical behaviors, such as:
  • parsimony excessive and incongruous than the real economic capacity.
  • tendency to accumulate the most different objects and goods, also irrespective of their actual practical use and even if objectively no longer usable (obsolete, damaged, malfunctioned, etc...).
  • enhancement and mythologizing of labor and of all economically productive activity, with correlated devaluation of abstract thinking, hobbies, sport, religious activities, existential and philosophical reflection and meditation, gossip, ecc....
  • perfectionism and sterile attention to details, also if details objectively irrelevant and also at the expense of neglecting the understanding and the care of the globality of the problem.
  • stubbornness in pursuit of a method, even if it is clearly not optimal.
* * *

Sometimes, the schizoid personality may present paranoid traits. In this case, there will be an accentuation of the following schizoid characters:
  • susceptibility (which here becomes rancor, recurrent and persistent).
  • attitude secretly vigilant (which here becomes suspiciousness, explicit and obsessive, unbreakable, self-referential and refractory to every contrary objective evidence).
  • reservedness tending to the secrecy (which here becomes secrecy, preordained and pervasive, also with regard to informations not related to the own private sphere).
However, even in the schizoid with strong paranoid tendencies, very rarely will be present also the another very typical characteristic of the paranoid, ie, the jealousy. This is because the jealousy is structurally incompatible with the schizoid personality for two reasons: 
  • the schizoid does not aspire to own people, but rather, the objects, 
  • the schizoid is very unlikely which may to be afraid of remain alone.
* * *

Often, a schizoid personality can be confused and misunderstood with a so called Asperger syndromeIn fact, the differences between these two psychic conditions are somewhat subtle, and even an expert could may find difficult to distinguish, specially in childhood and in pre-adolescence, between an Asperger and a Schizoid.

Schizoids and Asperger, of course, have in common:
  • a very limited range of expressive and emotional features (a not brilliant prosody, a marked absence of facial and bodily mimicry),
  • a certain unconcealed intellectual presumption and a more or less intentional egocentrism,
  • a recurrent need to make (more or less long, but absolute and clear) breaks in socialization (physically withdrawing himself in solitude).
However, unlike to the Schizoid, the Asperger:
  • has a glance maybe not determined and watchful, but often fixed and persistent,
  • has a more pronounced intolerance to physical contact,
  • has a very genuine, deep and aware intent to base one's conduct on strong ethical principles (intent and principles which often makes her behaviours markedly honest and moral, but that, however, it does not prevent him from appearing, unsuspiciously, rather ungainly, tactless, indelicate, rude, self-centered, selfish, a bit measly and small-minded, amoral, almost cynic, even cruel),
  • even if it is endowed with a strong ethica, he have a sense of the prudery absolutely bizarre, incostant and incoherent. For example, him could be scandalized from a non-conforming (even if only slightly) context to the his religious precepts, but, soon after, introduce, seriously, a exaggeredly intimate and inappropriate talk about the sexuality or jokingly make a sexual allusions of spine-chilling rudeness, in both cases placing the interlocutor in very hard and intolerable embarrassment,
  • has a slight but genuine aspiration to the socialization, aspiration, however, frustrated by: 1) a structural "Mind-blindness" and, therefore, a severe shortage in the so-called "Theory of the mind", ie in the ability to recognize the mental states (personality, previous personal story, momentary emotional state, conscious and unconscious intentions, desires, beliefs, aspirations, fears, etc.) of himself and, above all, of the others (with, in particular, the naive inability to read the others's malicious intentions, and, on the other hand, the almost paranoid suspicion in front to the others's conducts even when this others's conducts are clearly devoid of any malice and instrumentality), 2) a structural shortage of so-called "Empathy", ie in the to participate at the others's psychic state and in the to share these psychic states with them, and in the to realize which may be the effects of his conduct on others. The Asperger has the same structural (and dramatic) shortage of "Empathy" of Schizoid, but has a "mindblindness" deeper than that of the Schizoid,
  • has a substantial disinterestedness for the conventional and ceremonial forms of courtesy (hints of greeting, verbal greeting, handshake or hug, interest for health and others life, thanksgiving, take-leave, etc.),
  • accepts the conversation; but when this assumes the tones of a chitchat about the more and the less without a practical purpose and, in any case, when this is prolonged, often him limiteds himself to merely passive listening or to the use of sketchy expressions of formal participation and of formal assent, not caring too much to hide signs of boredom and of impatience, and fails him to hide his hurry to want conclude the conversation.
  • has a voice with a volume often quite high, but with a tonality so low and a rhythm so monotonous, so rectilinear and devoid of modulations, so robotic and funereal, to lead to a soporific and pseudo-hypnotic effect. Slowness and monotony of prosody of the Asperger is such that, if it tells you about the recent death of both his parents crushed under a truck or about its win of one-billion-dollar in the lottery, the Asperger will always use the same tone of voice (low), at a steady rhythm (slow), and sometimes with a conclusion of his phrase hurried and incomplete or slowed and emphasized. Every attempt by the Asperger to diversify hues and rhythm to her speech, will create, in the interlocutor, an immediate feeling of strong inappropriateness, of clumsy imitation of stereotypes, of not spontaneity, of forcing, of redundancy and sometimes (frankly) of comicalness,
  • often has a pedantic, stilted, professorial and ex cathedra attitude, like of someone whose time is more precious than that of others or like of who that know-it-all and of who which believes that for him is almost obvious to have very little to learn from others, tending to take for granted the (asserted) superiority of own competences even debasing (in a very direct way and public!) the competence of their interlocutor (even when it all involves, blatantly, a very profound humiliation of this same interlocutor),
  • has a certain tendency to assume a staid, phlegmatic and self-controlled profile or stereotyped behaviours (that are the clear result of an attempt to not committing impulsive gaffes). Conversely, when Asperger does not have the time or concentration needed to self-discipline and to gradually deploy its programmed social behavior or when the approach to the contingent social situation and to its context requires a high capacity (in terms of quality and of speed) of analysis, of non-verbal reading and of abstraction, the Asperger can to appear socially very clumsy and can make inconceivable and devastating gaffes (atrocious gaffes!!!) or can incurring and stumbling (even in rapid succession) coarser blunders and misunderstandings, often without minimally understand (not even retrospectively) the merit of these his crass social errors (or, when he understands it, producing further gaffes, in the clumsy attempt to amend those committed previously). These Asperger's stumbles and missteps they can happen, basically, for two reasons: 1) the Asperger is able to lie, and of continue to lie even if clearly aware that it has been discovered; but, on the other hand, it is capable of telling the truth without the slightest inhibition, even when it involves a severe and very deep injury to the dignity of others! 2) the Aspergers often thinks aloud (and, not by chance, one of the first tips that the Psychologists give to the Aspergers is of "count up to one hundred before talking"),
  • on attempt to not committing impulsive gaffes and in order to become finally socially accepted and ultimately compliant to the expectations of others, the Asperger often becomes an observers didactically attentive (a bit like the Generals of Kim Jong-un when they obsessively take notes on their notebook) and he copy the behaviours of others that he feel like optimal (the coping's activity of the best social behaviors of others, carries a portion consisting in the lives of Aspergers). As result of this his practice, the Asperger, sometimes, in a loudly paradoxical fashion, he end up to perceiving himself as specially capable readers of the personality of others people and as acute predictors of intentions of other people. But, on the contrary, a bit as in the case of Schizoid, the social observation of the Asperger is structurally dry and mechanical, naive and schematic, quantitatively very abundant but qualitatively highly poor and childish, maybe careful with the details, but unable to read this details together and to drop them in the whole context,
  • has an childish relationship with money: the subject is often not generous with others, but for himself tends to a marked prodigality, especially for the purchase of objects of an instrumental nature (mechanical, electronic, ...),
  • has a tendency to cultivate assiduously few hobbies (often of a technical and instrumental nature),
  • appears patently reassured and comforted from the relationship, from the possession and from the tactile contact with the objects, especially if are mechanical or electronic tools,
  • has a marked, resoundingly exaggerated, unjustified and inconferent slowness and methodicalness (at the limits of rituality) in the in the approach, in the performance and in the solution of intellectual activities (even with regard to understanding and solving problems of trivial banality), with almost total lack of intuitive skills and of synthesis (every problem requires a prior concentration and an accurate examination of its entirety). Therefore, him will reach almost always an exact and very accurate result (if referred to an activity purely executive), or perhaps an inaccurate result (if referred to an abstract activity); but, in any case, often will a result achieved belatedly,
  • has serious difficulties in carrying out several tasks at the same time (so called multitasking),
  • has, on average, a robust body constitution with a skull basically rather wide and brachycephalic,
  • has a marked slowness, a certain asymmetry, and a poor fluidity in the bodily mobility,
  • has a poor ability of orientation in the space,
  • has problems with the circadian rhythm wakefulness-sleep.
The Asperger seems to me to be certainly conditioned by a structural lack of ability from the communicative and empathic side, but, frankly, also by a substantial disinterest towards the sociality and the emotional experience.

If the Schizoid has contempt for others (and even a thread of fear of others), the Asperger has a substantial disinterest for others.

If the Schizoid does not try in the least to overcome his contempt of others (and his fear of others), the Asperger tries (even repeatedly and insistently) to overcome his indifference for others but he does this almost always to his rigid rules, terms and conditions (in the interpersonal relationship, the Asperger believes to know when to learn from the other and when to teach the other) and, therefore, with an lack of intellectual and emotional reciprocity which makes him perceive as pretentious and arrogant and, therefore, socially unattractive (the Asperger tends to justify or minimize one's relational errors, but also to emphasize the same type of mistakes if are committed against him).

Definitely, in my humble opinion, I think that not a few Aspergers are also partially schizoids (and viceversa)We could say, simplifying, that, like the Schizoid, even the Asperger has a psychic base constituted by a mixture of Narcissism and Autism. However, while in the Schizoid the narcissistic component prevails over the autistic one, in the Asperger the distribution of this mix appears exactly inverse and, therefore, the autistic component prevails over the narcissistic one.

* * *

Also the recent Japanese phenomenon (by far preponderantly in males) of the "Hikikomori", albeit filtered through the cultural peculiarities typical of Japan (father physically almost always absent, education system highly competitive and selective, very considerable expectation of parents about the future professional success of their children, pervasive social expectation of finalization of individual behavior for the higher purposes of the community), has too many suspicious similarities with the phenomenology of schizoid personality (even if, in the specific case of the Hikikomori, occurs also, in addition, a bizarre reversal of the circadian rhythm sleep-wake, de facto such as to minimize the possibility of human interaction).

* * *

Not lacking famous people who, I believe, can be considered like (plausible) schizoids (not coincidentally, almost exclusively males or persons belonging to the Anglo-Saxon and northern-European culture), very often characterized by misanthropy and/or by asexuality:
Diogenes of Sinope (first exponent of philosophical "cynicism", he devoted his life to preaching the schizoid virtues of self-control and self-sufficiency-autarchy),
Michelangelo Buonarroti ("I'm always alone, I go little around and I do not speak to a person"; he never had wife neither any one sentimental adventure, and he was known for his legendary and absolute avarice and frugality),
Isaac Newton,
Thomas Hobbes,
Blaise Pascal ("tout le malheur des hommes vient d’une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre" / "all the misfortune of men come from just one thing, which is to not know remain at rest in a room").
Jonathan Swift,
René Descartes,
Charles Darwin,
Franz Kafka,
Vincent Van Gogh,
Maximilien de Robespierre,
Fryderyk Chopin,
Immanuel Kant,
Henry Cavendish,
George Bernard Shaw,
Jane Austen,
Emily Brontë,
Karl Marx,
Sigmund Freud,
Friedrich Nietzsche,
Paul Cézanne (suffered from strong Haphephobia, the fear of being touched. He had given instructions to her maid of not approach him never and, if touched from someone, became furious),
Gustave Flaubert,
Hans Christian Andersen,
Henry Cavendish, (taciturn, asocial and secret - he rarely publishied his works- , he communicated with his own maids only through annotations on tickets. When, one day, a maid entered erroneously in his room, he remained so upset to dismiss her from work instantly. Later, he built mezzanines and stairs to go from room to room without being seen. There is a total absence of reports on his sentimental life).
Nikola Tesla,
Hermann Hesse,
Arthur Schopenauer,
Marcel Proust,
Edward Hopper,
Edvard Munch,
Greta Garbo,
Bertrand Russell,
Alfred Hitchcock,
Doris Lessing,
Simon Weil,
Ezra Pound,
Isaac Asimov,
Bobby Fischer,
Howard Phillips Lovecraft,
Philip K. Dick (self-diagnosed as "schizoid personality". Besides, Dick's mother was cold and distant, had little capacity for empathy and inability to care for the twin sister of Philip, Jane, that died, shortly after birth, due to malnutrition),
Jean-Paul Sartre ("l'enfer, c'est les autres"/"Hell, is other people"),
Albert Camus,
Ludwig Wittgenstein,
Emil Cioran ("Love - a meeting of two saliva ... All feelings draw their absolute from misery of glands". "The real contact between beings is established only with the silent presence, with the apparent non-communication, with the mysterious exchange and without words". "I despise the Christian because he is able to love his fellow man closely. To me, for rediscover the man, it would take the Sahara").
Georges Simenon (Had a mother, daughter of a suicide father, who he define like "insensitive to the emotions of others". Also the Simenon's daughter is died suicide, as his maternal grandfather),
Carl Gustav Jung,
Jack Kerouac (honorably discharged from the US Navy, after only 8 days of service, for "schizoid personality"),
Syd Barrett (traditionally mistaken for an Asperger, him, however, showed the clearest symptoms of schizoid or of schizotypal disorder, symptoms albeit exacerbated by continued use of drugs),
Stanley Kubrick,
Bill Gates,
Stephen Hawking,
Joseph Ratzinger,
Elizabeth II.

In addition, can be considered schizoids also some fictional characters, such as:
  • Sherlock Holmes,
  • Wednesday Addams ("the Addams family"),
  • Data ("Star Trek"), not by chance an android,
  • Gregory House ("House M. D."),
  • Mr. James Stevens ("The remains of the day"),
  • many "superheroes" loners (Superman, Batman, etc.).
Edvard Munch: "Inheritance II" (1897 - 1899)
Undoubtedly, about the S.P.D., there are two more problems to solve (problems inevitably suggestive): the origin of the S.P.D. and the prognosis of the schizoid.

Well, as to the origin (the etiology) of the S.P.D., I think very suggestive refer to genetic origins, but strengthened by:
  • very traditional fathers, physically (and emotionally) absent, and mothers very bad caregivers with very little ability to care of their children (therefore, of not-autonomous persons par excellence) and not able to respond coherently to the their emotional demands. Therefore, for belittle the seriousness of this their very serious pedagogical deficiencies (emotional, affective and sentimental), for to conceal their utter inability of solve these their chronic faults, both (father and mother) tend to diminish the importance of emotions, of affectivity, of feelings and of human relationship (and, therefore, of everything that their, parents, do not know provide or do not want provide), and are selfishly interested in promoting, in their children, the more rapid achievement of the maximum emotional self-control and emotional self-sufficiency, maliciously smuggling this two targets for pretense maturity and adult autonomy. A mother, at the same time, heavily obtrusive, with a marked tendency to projecting the own frustrations and the own expectations on her daughter, and to suppressing the personality of own daughter for groped to replace it with own project of personality (also this maternal intrusiveness so overwhelming, it inhibits the daughter and she induces it to repress own personality). Therefore, a mother-daughter relationship always swinging between an excess of absence (rejection) and an excess of presence (intrusiveness).
  • childish abuse (sexual or physical or psychological).
  • families with very poor internal communication and external sociability.
  • cultural and ethnic patterns (families with rigid religiosity, families from northern Europe or Sino-Japanese area, or rural areas or areas with a low population density or mountain areas or island areas). For example: 1) there are cultures of the distance (such as the Sino-Japanese, the Indian, the Anglosaxon, the North-european, etc.) and cultures of the proximity (such as the Arab, the Latin, the South American, etc.). The first are qualified by a relevant interpersonal distance, such as to reduce the possibilities of body contact (each contact and reduction of the proxemic space are perceived as forms of intrusion and lack of respect). In the seconds, instead, the interpersonal distance is reduced, and the opportunities for physical contact increase (distance is evaluated in negative terms, such as coldness and hostility) 2) there are cultures of the word (such as those of Africa, of South America, Latin) and cultures of silence (such as Japanese, Lappish, Indian of America, etc.). Among the first, the silence is perceived as a threat. The seconds, instead, are marked by long pauses of silence (silence intended as a sign of trust and harmony) 3) there are cultures of the emotionality and of the expression of emotions (such as the Latin, Arab, etc.) in which the expression of emotions is understood as a sign of sincerity and will to cooperation, and in which the emotional coldness is understand as a sign of distrust and contempt. On the other hand, there are cultures (such as the North European, the Anglo-Saxon, the Sino-Japanese, etc.) in which the expression of one's emotions is seen as a vulgar, inestetic and intrusive behavior.
Grant Wood: "American gothic" (1930), detail
As to the prognosis schizoid, I think that:
  • the frequent isolation and, in any case, the having interpersonal relationships without emotional involvement, ends up producing on the schizoid a progressive loss of social skills and a reduced intellectual growth. The long-term asociality ends up depriving the schizoid of an incredible amount of experience and, therefore, of many intellectual stimuli. I believe, trivially, that about 7 billion human beings live on the face of planet Earth and that, at least on a probabilistic level, we all have much more to learn from 7 billion human beings than not from ourselves (we are only 1). Moreover, I believe that we human beings are Mammals and not Reptiles. Unlike the Reptiles, the Mammals generally breastfeed and care for the puppies. In addition, we Humans, unlike many others Mammals, we have no claws and we also have a very refined tactile ability (precisely aimed at a special activity of care of our puppies). In other words, we Humans are morphologically structured for sociality, and sociality allows us to increase our intellectual competences exponentially; rejecting sociality means rejecting our intellectual capacity for learning and gradually separates us from our corporeity and its potential,
  • the repeated use of emotional detachment as a defensive tactical technique, generate on the schizoid sever growing inability to recognize the most basic occasions of gratification and pleasure and, therefore, to enjoy them, slipping into a sensory lethargy (anhedonia),
  • the stubborn social isolation and the lack of sentimental relationships, causes to the schizoid first an impoverishment and, then, a total loss of the social (and economic!) protection network (children do not exist, a partner do not exist, relatives are removed, friends do not exist),
  • the Schizoid, progressively, builds a world (fantasy life - schizoid fantasy - mind wandering) where she attempts to live, albeit in simulated mode and more deadened, the emotions that he can not live outside, in real life. In own inner world so constructed, the schizoid creates a story, a theatrical subject, suitable to vent (in harmless mode) all his old anger as well as his megalomania. To achieve this goal, the Schizoid: 1) on one side, relives its real and true story of life, however creating opposing and winning outcomes and endings with respect to those actually lived and unbearably loser, 2) on the other side, to deaden the loneliness, creates also a totally imaginary place, an its own alternate and parallel reality, populated by characters result of his pure imagination, as if he was a character in a fantasy novel, in a pattern typically pre-adolescential. In essence, the virtual schizoid inner world it seems to me fulfill a function in half between that of certain video games of war and that of certain television soap operas.
  • the tendency to look for solitary jobs and as far possible without relationships with the public of users or of customers (eg, Librarian, Night Watchman, Writer, Painter, Sculptor, Computer Technician, Warehouse Worker, Laboratory Technician, etc.), or the tendency not to take decision-making roles on work or not to be part of specific work groups or to accept only purely executive and eminently bureaucratic assignments, often leads the schizoid to not excel in hierarchical working environments, reaching levels lower than those that its competence would suggest,
  • the schizoid ends up perceiving oneself as unreal and dissociated from one's self (depersonalization, well described by Jean Paul Sartre in "La nausée"),
  • the schizoid ends up perceiving the world and the external reality as unreal (derealisation),
  • the schizoid often falls in depressionbetween 35 and 50 years of age,
  • the schizoid girl, albeit obsessed by the compulsory and constant need to avoid any physical and emotional relationship, you may feel impelled to find a partner by effect of the sexual urges (in adolescence) or by effect of the need to guarantee itself a financial protection or a social respectability (in mature age). In these cases, I think that the schizoid tends to join in couple preferably with men who, for character traits (schizoid, avoidant, obsessive-compulsive, paranoid), or for reasons of psychological subjection (much younger or ugly or of social class lower) or to limitations of physical type (much older) or for reasons of geographical distance (men residing or working away) or for their civil status (married or cohabiting), are assumed to be incapable to take or give (actively and spontaneously) physical and/or emotional contacts, and, at the same time, they are capable to accept (passively and uncritically) the occasional request of contact physical and/or emotional of schizoid. In addition, the need to avoid direct physical contact, in my opinion can tilt the schizoid towards atypical forms of sexuality, such as voyeurism and fetishism. Likewise, the lack of sense of identity combined with asexuality, I think that can form a logical antecedent of predisposition to bland bisexuality,
  • bizarrely, the Schizoid girl will attract, a lot more, the Depressed/Avoidant man and the Histrionic man: therefore (paradoxically), precisely those men who, more than any other, she as Schizoid can not tolerate because of their constant emotional demands! The Depressed/Avoidant and the Histrionic are attracted by the emotive self-control, by the autonomy and by the self-sufficiency of Schizoid, and, that is, precisely by those features that they, Depressed/Avoidant and Histrionic, do not have (the Depressed/Avoidant and the Histrionic they can not hold back their emotions and end up participate at the emotions of others; in particular, the Depressed/Avoidant needs a woman to love and whence be loved; the Histrionic needs a women who him applaud). In addition, particularly the Depressed/Avoidant, being very emotionally needy, unknowingly tends to misunderstand (wrongly!) the asexuality of the schizoid, mistaking it for strong sexual morality and extreme virginal decency and, so, he ends to build an image of Schizoid interlocutor as of a potentially ideal person to meet own deep sentimental and romantic needs. Well: the Histrionic, after being unappreciated by the Schizoid, he does not persists in relational inquiry, feeling the contempt of the Schizoid as referring to only one of its many possible spectators (because the Histrionic tends always to direct own attention, simultaneously, to more people, to a community of people) and, therefore, he will appeal elsewhere, in search of a new audience. Conversely, the Depressed/Avoidant people feel the contempt that the Schizoid reserve to him as a personal injury (because the Depressed people will appeal always only to a single individual, and also because the contempt of Schizoid coincides with the vision of person of little value that the Depressed has of himself). Therefore, the schizoid reaction induces the Depressed/Avoidant to believe that he not had expressed with adequate power and enough sincerity his sentimental and romantic intent (the depressed person believes always that a deep love ends up making always breach even in the toughest interlocutor) and, therefore, pushes the depressed people to persevere, ever more intensely, in own relational request with the Schizoid, to show more and more keenly his intent sentimental and romantic, thus triggering a loop, an escalation, increasingly exacerbated, between the propositions of own emotional demands and the schizoid reactions of irritation and contempt. For this reason, I believe that a true Schizoid, a pure and hard Schizoid, give the "worst" of herself in the presence of an Depressed/Avoidant subject of the opposite sex: this, precisely, because she feels that the Depressed/Avoidant people are the subjects potentially more threatening and dangerous for his schizoid emotive quietness. On the other side, for the Depressed/Avoidant or for the Dependent affective people, the encounter with a Schizoid turns out as an event undoubtedly very inspiring and instructive under an intellectual profile, but emotionally devastating and traumatic.
  • if you think about it well and without intellectual prejudice, the rejection of sociality and the rejection of sex (the two cornerstones of schizoid personality) can explain many many cases of (alleged) "religious vocations", especially those of type monastic or cloistered or ascetic.
* * *

Ultimately, after trying to explain (first of all to myself) the schizoid psychology, I'm tempted to explain to non-schizoids (first of all to myself) how to approach a Schizoid and what are the limits of a human relationship with a Schizoid (schizoid that, from now on, I will call "She").
  • First of all, we must carefully avoid groped to establish eye contact with She: means you must absolutely avoid of looking She in the eyes.
  • Then, you have to avoid to get too close to She (a distance greater than 2 meters will be very welcome to She) and, even more, never to touch She (never groped to tighten the hands of She).
  • Stoically, endure his recurrent (and often endless) silences. The deafening and rigid his silence that you perceive as indifference, it really will be the only his mode, however absurd and totally paradoxical, of to show you (be it moderate) respect and acceptance (if She will find you only slightly unpleasant, do not never doubt that it will begin to snort and to show, with theatrical ostentation, all the his contempt).
  • Never ask at She anything about his private life (even trivial details): otherwise, you will be branded from She as a irreducible nosy and She will put you, immediately and permanently, at distance.
  • Apply, with She, an infinite dilution of the amount and of intensity of the own relational initiatives and even more of the own affective impulses, according to a logic that reminiscent, much closely, that of homeopathic medicine.
  • Not hope too much of receive any one manifestation of affection from part of She. Even if you were to be the subject of some (rare) manifestation of emotional attention on her part (it can happen...), you need know that this manifestation will be followed (as soon as possible) by another manifestation not only diametrically contrary, but also greater than the previous and deliberately blatant and scenographic.
  • Every love affair with She is doomed to fail inexorably. The only game that you can hope to play with She is an sorte of infinite match of chess for correspondence: the distance between a move and another will be intolerably enormous. Will a match without winners ... and with two losers (both asleep in front at the chessboard).

* * *

Finally, I want to make clear that I think obviously that not all the so called "schizoids" are 100% schizoids; but, that does not mean that the attempts to identification that I have adopted here are useless or, worse, misleading.

Indeed, the DSM, like a geographic map that sets the cardinal points (North, South, West, East), is nothing more than a psychological map that sets the psichic cardinal points (Schizoid, Avoidant, Narcissistic, Borderline, Paranoid, Istrionic, etc.).

Therefore, it is clear that most of the psychic types actually present in the reality will almost never match exactly on the psichic cardinal points outlined by the DSM; but this does not imply the uselessness of these cardinal points, because, if we would eliminated them, we would never know the exact position of the actual and more or less intermediate psychic types.

* * *

"Je songe à tous ces imbéciles qui s'embrassent et je me dis que, vraiment, on a autre chose à faire dans l'existence"
["I reflect on all these imbeciles who they embrace and I say at me that, really, there something else to do in the existence"]
"Bel-Ami", Guy de Maupassant

[P.S.: Your comments (also anonymous) will be highly appreciated!]


  1. Thanks, I have just solved the enigma of failure of my approaching to schizoid girl - love of my life. I'm depressive boy. Great article!

    1. Dear Polish (?) friend (also a my very ancient ancestor was native of south-east of Poland, of Markowa), the attraction of depressed and dependent affective for schizoid personalities (as well as the paradoxical and furious hatred of schizoid personalities against depressed and dependent affective), it is one of the most obvious and infallible mechanisms, yet, oddly enough, poorly understood.
      I'd love to, under an intellectual profile, if you could give me (if possible...) your psychological description of the schizoid person you've met and known.
      PS .: if you want mark as "Follower" of my blog, I will be very happy.
      Thank you.

  2. Yes, I'm from Poland, but from the north part :)Sorry for my late response, but I didn't receive information about your reply.
    It would be difficult to describe her behaviour better than you describe this kind of personality, but in short:
    - she is one of the most slim persons I have ever known, but still she is not anorectic (especially slim hands as if artificially added to torso)
    - frequently cold body, especially cold hands
    - introvert, closed to others
    - aversion to the people mixed with anxiety of them
    - avoidant of expressing emotions and receiving emotions of others (especially emotions connected with love or somebody's death)
    - disordered communication: selectively answering to messages, phones; suddenly cutting communication - one day we normally talk (live, not by phone or Facebook), the day after she avoids me without perceptible cause
    - avoiding crowds, meeting new people - very stressed in these situations
    - tending to be self-suficient, independent, ambitious
    - in depth very unconfident, anxious
    - she seems to have rich inner life, but outside she is so pragmatic, she avoids fantasizing, sentimentalizing etc.
    - unnatural beautiful ;)

    1. You have written of features for me strongly evocative. For example, "especially slim hands" (well, I had never seen a girl with fingers of hands so incredibly long!). And keep in mind that the characteristic of the arms and legs that seem unnaturally linked to the bust is a features that often recurs in descriptions of Psychologists and Psychiatrists (also many schizoid, when are asked them to draw themselves, they draw themselves with hands detached from the arms or arms detached from the bust). I realize that, thinking of this passage, there is a risk of ending up almost to reason in terms of "social Darwinism", as Cesare Lombroso []. But those who know this personality, be aware there that are also morphological characteristics recurring. Rather, since I am not a psychologist and I am not an clinical experience, and not having been in a position to have enough intimacy with the girl that I described in my article, the one that has always intrigued me deeply is what You described as his "rich inner life ". Its "rich inner life" remains a complete mystery for me. What can You tell about this?

  3. Yes, there must be some connection between physical building of body and psychological features of person. Maybe not always, but frequently. Psychiatrist Ernst Kretschmer wrote about relationship between thin, slender body (he called it "leptosomatic") and strongly introvertive type of personality (which he called "schizothymic").
    Her inner life... It was rather intuition that she must have rich inner life, that there must have been abundant psychic life behind this closed shell, behind her superficiality. Maybe chaotic inner experience with which she hardly could manage? Who knows? She did'nt talk about her feelings and rarely shared her thoughts.
    You write about attraction (obvious, but poorly understood) between depressive and schizoidal persons. How did You notice such attraction? Could You tell more about it?

    1. I've often thought that what many Psychiatrists call the "schizoid inner world" is not a world where the schizoid he attempts only to live, albeit in simulated mode and so much more muted, the emotions that he can not live outside and in life real.
      I, however, believe that what many Psychiatrists call the "schizoid inner world" is an imaginary place where the schizoid, to deaden the loneliness, creates its own alternate and parallel reality, populated by characters result of his pure imagination, as if he was a character in a fantasy novel, in a pattern that seems to me typically pre-adolescential.
      And I also think that, in own inner world so constructed, the schizoid creates a story, a theatrical subject, suitable to vent (in harmless mode) all his old anger as well as his everlasting megalo-mania.
      In essence, the schizoid inner world, purely virtual, it seems to me to fulfill a function including between that of certain video games of war and that of certain luxurious soap operas.
      As for the attraction of the depressed (and of the histrionic) to the schizoid, I think I have explained quite well this towards the end of my article.
      I I realized above all this mechanism when, in mature age, I realized that I has tended to confuse repeatedly the schizoid disregard for sexuality for morality and virginal modesty.
      In fact, given my strong desire to find a girl with whom to live forever in an eternal love affair (the classic "girl to marry"), I had a strong need to find a reliable girl and that does not could betray me, but at the same time as a young man, I had not a capacity of psychological analysis that would let me to distinguish between a schizoid inhibited and a decent girl but with personality.
      But I realize that the distinction can often be very difficult and slippery.

    2. I have noticed your repsonse with delay, I'm sorry.
      Thank You for your utterances. You described "schizoid inner world" in very suggestive way!
      "My" schizoid girl was too rather sexually inhibited, but at the same time she was religious and seemed to be decent one - yeah, it is difficult to find if she was more inhibited or more moral.

  4. Thanks you a lot for this valuable article which made me understand my girl finally. Really this personality make me unable to do any thing. Rougly all points you mentioned founded in her personality, the most thing make me angry as you mentioned she always trys to hide something from me, I know it is disorder ,But i want to ask you if there is therapy that can make a little change.

    1. Thank you very much for your intervention. I will try to respond to you in the coming hours.

    2. Thanks i am wiating ,excuse me for my grammer mistakes because i am non native English speaker

    3. Dear Hasan, thank you very much for your appreciation.
      You write from Turkey or from Sudan or Kenya?
      Do not worry about your English, because I too have never studied this language, but a little 'time, I am able to translate better and better.
      Well, the reservedness that results in secretness, is, in my opinion, one of the salient features of schizoid personality (together with the fear of the physical contact and of the visual contact, and with the ostentation of the indifference). It is a strange feeling, very thin and unexplainable, and yet, at the same time, very real.
      In regards to the therapy for this aspect (and for all disorders of the schizoid personality), I consider it necessary to reiterate what I have tried to explain at the beginning of my article, and, ie, that like all others disorders of personality, even the schizoid disorder is egosyntonic (ie, the subject recognizes the own symptoms but you feel in tune with they and, therefore, does not prove uncomfortable, feeling the above symptoms as physiologically consistent with the rest of own personality); but, unlike all other subjects with so-called personality disorders, the schizoid has tragic (and often insurmountable) problems to speak of himself with others (including psychologists and psychiatrists) and to describe to others its own emotions.
      In other words, in front at an schizoid, under a strictly technical term, the basic challenges that lie ahead are twofold: 1) get to do acknowledge, to her, that he has that specific type of personality, 2) to do admit, to her, that his personality restricts, unnecessarily and unbearably, his life.
      These are two very difficult goals to achieve, because their implementation would force the schizoid to do, in any case, something almost impossible for him: speak to his soul and describe his soul to the others.
      it is for this reason that, among all the people with personality disorders, the schizoids are those that throng less the Offices of Psychologists and Psychiatrists.
      Well, In this regard, will be helpful explain to her that the relationship with the specialist will initially only between two, and that the specialist will not have the function to dig into his past and in his subconscious to try to remove the causes of his disorder, but, rather, he will explain to her the benefits of the socialization and the primary techniques of the socialization.
      Only subsequently to this stage, the patient it will be able to gradually access to group therapy.
      But, in both the stages, the therapist will must be able to face the prolonged omissive resistances and the repeated silences of schizoid (because the silence, that you perceive as indifference, it really will be a paradoxal form of comunication!!! It is absolutely paradoxical, but it is so!!!).
      For these reasons, I believe it would be preferable a elderly (!!!) specialist, equipped with high general cultural level (always escape you from psychologists or from Psychiatrists crammed with knowledge but without experience, intuition and common sense), that not have hurry to quickly achieve a result, with excellent listening skills, with a non-emotional personality.

    4. firstly thanks you alot for giving your time to reply and write these valuable advises.
      Secondly,I will ask therapy for her although it seems to be difficult mission because of the nature of this personality as you mentioned,
      I am from Sudan
      Best wishes for you✋✋✋

  5. Hi, i'm from belgium. I met this girl a year or two ago. She's from the same town as me. We knew eachother from the time we were kids (4-5 yrs old. Only reknown recently now we're both in our early to mid twenties now. We met in the local nightlife. As i got to know her a little bit better while seeing her in real and messaging her (which has really been a struggle to get much out of her.But she likes talking and being around me i think,) I've observed her behaviour, body language and just how she is and acts in general. And she was a total enigma for me.Because indeed sometimes she would ignore me and sometimes be very happy to see me and also selective answering of questions in conversation, silence especially when i ask more emotional stuff, she is very logical and secretive,turning back etc...,and she seems very anxious sometimes too. So i've also searched the net for answers and then i read your post and i must say it's like you are describing this girl in detail. Especially with omissive answers in conversation, robotic body language, extending her arm and showing trunk of her hand and looking away when i want to do a spin with her or take her hand.very aversive to touch. always keeps physical and emotional distance. and other times ( very rare) she is totally the opposite of that and seems extroverted and a little seductive. She is an enigma indeed. Also she carries a certain dakness and pain in her soul, i can see it everytime i meet her. She is indeed a natural very extraordinary beautiful girl unlike any other( slim, tall figure, nice red-blondish hair). But it has been a struggle to get to know her and escalate things because of her contradictive nature. i think she is interested and enjoys my company because the first time we met she gave me very good eye contact and always seemed to be where i was and she was looking at me but she just stands there in silence and closed body language, she's never going to talk to anyone out of her own free will exept to her friends. SO like i said their is some sort of invisible shield she keeps up which i cannot get trough. If i was a normal person i would think she was being very disrespectful ,indifferent and rude at sometimes. but your article is seemingly precisely written for her. And yes i am a more avoidant type of person. But we both have like a group of good friends etc... so we're not totally anticosical. thats maybe why i have to always message her. Well now i'm not talking to her anymore cuz i said i can't get my hopes up and break my own heart everytime thinking she will reciprocate, but in a friendly way and that all is good between us. Radio silence now altho she wished me happy birthday with a kiss(x) on facebook. So im strongly thinking she's a very functional schizoid. Also one of her parents died when she was like 6-7 so maybe thats a cause for her personality. Let me know what you think.

    1. Dear Belgian Friend (Walloon or Flemish?), really thank you for your most welcome comment! These days I have huge work (I am Lawyer), but I swear that I will answer you on this weekend. :-)

    2. Thank you! I live on the border between the two, so i speak both dutch and french but you could say im more a flemish. i like your edward hopper picture in the beginning, i dont know much about art in general but the only one i really know and like is edward hopper. His style could just describe my soul haha. And there's something about this girl that also always makes me think of edward hopper paintings. As if she doens't really belong to this strange world. Close but always far away... i can't explain it beter than this.

    3. Dear belgian friend, for the moment, we begin by Hopper (one of my favorite painters!); then, calmly and time available, I will answer on the merits of your first speech, okay?.
      Well, Hopper was, without any doubt, a schizoid!
      On the other hand, we look at his pictures:
      1) the characters never look at each other, never look in the direction of the point of view of the painter, always observe an indefinite point;
      2) the characters never touch each other;
      3) the characters are always in an enclosed space (home, theater, car) or, at least, to the limit of an enclosed space (door, window, steps), but never outside;
      4) the characters always seem caught in a break of their action, in waiting, in a standby state.
      So, summing up, Hopper always recounts:
      1) the absence of visual contact;
      2) absence of physical contact;
      3) lack of relationship with the outside;
      4) absence of action.

    4. We begin by saying that rarely exist the girl perfectly schizoid or, at contrary, the girl absolutely not schizoid. The DSM is only a map indicating the cardinal points (the personality disorders), but this does not mean that all the personalities they are placed exactly in the north or in the south or in the east or in the west: in fact, in reality, are much more frequent the personalities of intermediate type than the personalities absolute and categorized.
      You are referring to a series of definitely suggestive elements: the aversion to physical contact, the aversion to tactile contact, the aversion to emotional contact. These are all elements typically autistic.
      But you also describes a decent social life of this girl, and this is an unusual element for an schizoid.
      In this last sense, in your case it seems to me suggestive to refer at that model which is called "secret schizoid". The "secret schizoid" is not ashamed to engage socially, also with scenographic and blatant style, but, nevertheless, refuses to be emotionally involved. This model of "Secret schizoid", in my humble opinion, given that the schizoid personality is a mixture of narcissism and autism, is a more common pattern when the narcissistic component is dominant in the schizoid individual.
      As for attitudes seductive, the schizoid woman, pure schizoid or secret schizoid, When It is very beautiful, often develops behaviors blatantly seductive, followed immediately by a contemptuous refusal attitudes, because this dual mechanism satisfies his narcissistic component. It is childish, i know, but it is.
      Finally, let me note the one that is almost a constant in this kind of falling in love. I mean that, even in your case (as in my case and in the case of others who have written to me here), are almost always the "avoiding boys" (and more flexibly and passenger, the "histrionic boys") who fall in love for the schizoid girls. This aspect seems me very very important and, if you allow, in this regard I'll just repeat for you, copy and paste, a piece of my article: ... >>>

    5. ...>>>

      ["bizarrely, the schizoid girl will attract, a lot more, the depressed man and the histrionic man: therefore (paradoxically), precisely those men who, more than any other, she can not tolerate because of their constant emotional demands! The depressed and the histrionic are attracted by the emotive self-control, by the autonomy and by the self-sufficiency of schizoid, and, that is, precisely by those features that they do not have (the depressed and the histrionic they can not hold back their emotions and end up participate at the emotions of others; in fact, in particular, the depressed needs a woman to love and whence be loved; the histrionic needs a women who him applaud). In addition, particularly the depressed person, being very emotionally needy, unknowingly tends to misunderstand (wrongly!) the asexuality of the schizoid, mistaking it for strong sexual morality and extreme virginal decency and, so, he ends to build an image of schizoid interlocutor as of a potentially ideal person to meet own sentimental and romantic needs. Therefore, the histrionic people, after being unappreciated by the schizoid, he does not persists in relational inquiry, feeling the contempt of the schizoid as referring to only one of its many possible spectators (because the histrionic tends, always, to direct own attention, simultaneously, to more people, to a community of people) and, therefore he will appeal elsewhere, in search of a new audience. Conversely, the depressed people feel the contempt that typically schizoid reserve to him as a personal injury (because the depressed people will appeal always only to a single individual, and also because the contempt of schizoid coincides with the vision of person of little value that the depressed has of himself. Therefore, the schizoid reaction induces the depressed to believe that he not had expressed with adequate power and enough sincerity his sentimental and romantic intent (the depressed person believes that a deep love ends up making always breach even in the toughest interlocutor) and, therefore, pushes the depressed people to persevere, getting stronger, in own relational request with the schizoid, to show more and more keenly his intent sentimental and romantic, thus triggering a loop, an escalation, increasingly exacerbated between the propositions of own emotional demands and the schizoid reactions of irritation and contempt. For this reason, I believe that a true schizoid, a pure and hard schizoid, give the "worst" of herself in the presence of an depressed subject of the opposite sex: this, precisely, because she feels that the depressed people are the subjects potentially more threatening and dangerous for his schizoid emotive quiet."]

  6. Not all factors, nevertheless, are black and white, so if you turn 16 tomorrow, and want to
    come to class tonight, knock yourself out.

    1. Thanks for your comment.
      One of my goals was to induce to talk (maybe talk about themselves) also the same schizoid personalities: well, I see that I've managed at least in this target.
      Of course, I agree with you that "Not all factors, nevertheless, are black and white."
      In fact, as I think I have clearly explained in answering a previous comment, "...rarely exist the girl perfectly schizoid or, at contrary, the girl absolutely not schizoid. The DSM is only a map indicating the cardinal points (the personality disorders), but this does not mean that all the personalities they are placed exactly in the north or in the south or in the east or in the west: in fact, in reality, are much more frequent the personalities of intermediate type than the personalities absolute and categorized."

  7. Hello!!
    Thanks so much for the post^^ Are you still here?
    My english may sounds very formal but I'm still in its learning process and I'm using google translate.
    "I absolutely love your analysis" - It's the most complete and interesting of all blogs I've ever read. Your skill is admirable.

    I'm pretty sure I'm a schizoid
    I'm turning 18 and - never had a loving relationship physically only long distance relationship. I've never kissed anyone. I have no friends, I have no family - but I'm okay. Since I was 10 years old, I've been talking to myself, as if I were on a Reality Show(out loud). I still talk to myself every day for hours, about everything. I feel in peace.
    I've never felt connected to anyone and I ain't got no fight in me... people are simply uninteresting as if everyone was following a script but at the same time I have an extreme curiosity to know about them and their motivations with the intention of discovering something different and stunning.
    If I'm even a schizoid, it's not a problem for me to live a lifetime without a lover, live alone and not have friends - although I think how good it would be if I had a woman in my arms for just one day and feel the love (without sex) but I know this is not possible, I cannot show affection and I don't want to try to do it. I'll not be a good lover.
    When I'm online I'm very talkative and cheerful but in real life I'm a cold stone but inside sometimes i feel fragile.
    I really think maybe the schizoids are very sensitive or have suffered a lot and are projecting themselves into the world as a cold and indifferent person not to suffer.
    One thing you wrote that caught my attention was about memory - My memory is very useful for remembering conversation in the virtual world from years ago like - dates of birthdays, names, cities, and interests of people I've only talked to once in my life but are only facts that perhaps are not so important.
    Last year I had a chance to chat with a very interesting girl I met in the virtual world, I had not talked to her for years and I still remembered everything she'd told me and it scared her, maybe she thought I was more interested of what I am and that is not much. I always look like an anonymous person interested in people but when they ask me about a social network I immediately move away from them.

    I left my biological family and moved from town to start a new life, since "independence" is a very important thing for me, I needed a place of my own and away from them.

    IS THAT IT. and Sorry for so many "I"
    Have a good day!

    1. Hello, Friend!
      First of all, thank you for your compliments (your compliments are very welcome to me, also because they come from a person who is ... how to say ... "competent" on the subject).
      This article of mine on the "schizoid personality", in particular, is the result of my continuous and incessant deepening: a deepening that lasts from 10 years ago (I proceed incessantly to correct, integrate and develop this paper which that, at the beginning, it was much succinct and schematic).
      I still have new ideas about it and I will certainly write more.
      And, very immodestly, I must confess to you that I have more and more the impression of having understood more than many so-called "experts" of the sector (in the next life, I swear that I will do the Psychologist!).
      I must also recognize that, in some passages, I give a judgment perhaps too cynical and severe on the Schizoids (and on the Aspergers!), and I apologize for this: but, in this my critical attitude, I am unfortunately conditioned by personal experiences rather frustrating (even with the Aspergers ...).
      In addition, I very much appreciate the extreme honesty with which You demonstrate to accept my overall analysis of schizoid personality (many schizoid do not agree to undergo this sort of "radiography").
      Regarding your feeling of living your personality (and, therefore, the related feeling of autonomy from your family and from others in general) without particular problems ("egosyntonicity") and with a bit of complacency and even of euphoria, I must tell you that your overall feeling seems to me physiological for your age (age in which the achievement of economic autonomy and operational independence is certainly a virtuous and desirable stage).
      However, you also think that you will not be eternally on 18 years and that you will not be eternally a teenager or a post-adolescent, and that your future mature age will require you (paradoxically just for reasons of intellectual and rational type) a more complex relationship and articulated with reality, also under the profile emotional, communicative and of interpersonal relationships (because "emotions", "communication" and "interpersonal relationships" are first and foremost instruments of strong intellectual growth).
      Besides the mnemonic aspect to which you mentioned, are there other aspects of my analysis that have struck you?
      And, above all, what can you tell me about the so-called "world of inner fantasy" of the so-called Schizoids?


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