- I apologize for the length.
2) This isn't about depression but I have found no other decent forum with such an abundant and understanding and knowledgeable membership with an almost ambitious fervor towards helping others with their issues. (From what I have thus far read).
3) I don't exactly know what I'm expecting to achieve by posting this, (other than such a broad term as 'feedback'), but as to whether I'm looking for opinions, advice, or maybe just someone to actually listen to what I confess over the anonymity of the internet that I am unable to express to any one person, I cannot rightly say.
4) I apologize for any spelling or grammatical mistakes as I wrote this in relative haste, for over abundant background (background is always relevant no matter how seemingly trite), and for lack of clarity. It is frustratingly, (the frustration itself impotent), taxing to express with adequate accuracy and conviction the emotion(s) I am attempting to convey.
I am a 21 year old college student and I'm pretty sure I've already developed a, (at least borderline), Schizoid personality - not to be confused, (as it all too commonly is), with schizophrenia – note: I do not hear voices. And I do recognize even typing this is contradictory to the nature of this condition, (my life is paradox, the origin of all my ailments and angst) - which is one of the reasons I'm not sure to what point I am writing this and also why I left room for the term 'borderline'.
I have always been an introvert, shy, quiet, whatever. And abhorred being that way in my youth – the powers that be forcing you ‘out of your shell’. As I grew, I learned to live with and eventually relish being that way. Now I would never change that about myself. But in the last year especially I've noticed it's gone a bit too far – from external opinion, (the two ‘friends’ I keep in contact with and mostly my mother). But I like the solitude. The personal freedom that lies parallel with the absolute lack interpersonal relationships. Here I will digress for a moment by explaining how I arrived at this self-diagnosis: a feeling that something wasn’t quite ‘normal’ – for lack of better terms, looking up the disorders with similar characteristics in the DSM IV, ruling out the ones that didn’t quite fit - i.e. avoidance, and measuring the severity in which they affected my life. Note: I am not Agoraphobic, there is no sudden terror or tremor of panic that sets in as soon as I walk out the front door. (I must leave the necessary 20 times to smoke a pack a day). And it’s not even that I hate people, (though if you asked me, I would tell you I hate everyone). It’s like there is an underlying distance between myself and everybody else.
I know a lot of this ‘distance’ has to do with emotion. Note: I am not a sociopath or a borderline personality, I do feel emotion; I do feel things like remorse, regret, etc. But it’s like its deluded. Or rather I recognize the emotion is there, (in logical thought of characterization), but am unable to actually feel it, to grasp it. That I somehow developed a defense mechanism keeping me from ever reaching these horizons. To think and recognize: “I am angry.” But never to actually express being angry – an obscure reference on the tip of your subconscious tongue or life after experiencing the waters of the Lethe. Origin: probable early teens/late childhood, that emotion clouds and displaces logical order and thought.
I have very little interests. And the things I do like are always solitary activities.
I classify two people as ‘friends’ and I’m constantly getting bored with them, manipulating them – finding no enjoyment in doing so, pushing them away and pulling them back with no sentimental connection.
I can’t explain this correctly to my liking so I’m ending it here. I’ll conclude with this: currently I don’t believe it has affected my life so negatively as to warrant professional help, and even if I was dragged there I am wary and disheartened of psychologists/psychiatrists (having been misdiagnosed in the past as: depressed, manic-depressive, and several others [the recognition of want to scream and shout that they’re wrong, to even cause physical harm, but never doing so], and I am aware of the basic paradoxical relationship between therapist and schizoid – we make their job non to easy, I give them that). That I also believe I have isolated the events, (the ones remembered anyway), that caused this evolution – accepting them, trying to isolate how they caused this evolution, and to move on. In the end, am I even searching to get better and will I ever have a healthy relationship with anybody? It’s hard to say. I doubt it, but that could just be the recurring fog of my youthful pessimism creeping through my consciousness. Writing this, I know what I’m searching for, that fateful line in the sand between abnormality and eccentricity and illness, then to saddle it. This didn’t really help. I wasted an hour. I’m going to go make some food; I think chicken and a sweet potato.
Sorry I wasted a thread and three minute of your life, (not really, really, but you know).
The expression of life lives allusively...
You sound like you have the schizoid thing nailed.
In reply to:
I don’t believe it has affected my life so negatively as to warrant professional help
I'm not sure that I agree with that. Are you really happy with things as they are? Why did you write the long essay, then?
In reply to:
and even if I was dragged there I am wary and disheartened of psychologists/psychiatrists (having been misdiagnosed in the past as: depressed, manic-depressive, and several others [the recognition of want to scream and shout that they’re wrong, to even cause physical harm, but never doing so], and I am aware of the basic paradoxical relationship between therapist and schizoid – we make their job non to easy, I give them that).
Have you only ever had talk therapy? Have you ever been prescribed any medication? I'll bet you've at least been given antidepressants.
<i>Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.</i> -- MLK
I'm not happy with the way things are, I can't remember the last time I was actually 'happy', more like I had begun to grow to accept the way things are. I guess when I say 'it hasn't affected my life so negatively to warrent professional help', the context of negativity comes into play: I'm not in danger of suicide, I'm following through will school, etc. However, admittedly, it has affected my ability to acquire employment - severely.
My experience with therapists/psychiatrists is a bit complex... I've only ever talked to therapists etc. during the time alloted that I was in an outpatient drug program, (background: left home at 18 with criminal intent to integrate myself with the drug underworld like one of my literary heroes. In retrospect I would have waited until after college, but it was experiment/experience I thought I needed. Got hooked, got clean, and been clean for over a year, (no praise please, serious, I can't stand that kind of stuff that flys around support groups like NA/AA.) I went to the program after I had been clean for awhile because 1) to appease my mother's mind... or more selfishly, I really needed a place to live.
Anyway back to the therapists/therapy. It was a good place, (cost my insurance an arm and a leg anyhow), I told them I had been prescribed Zoloft before that it made me incredibly maniac - not sleeping for 3,4,5 days at a time, like a shot of speed. So they thought I was maniac-depressive and wanted me to try a different anti-depressant combined with Lithium. Having researched Lithium - how taxing on the body it can be, I declined. I have don't mood instability - I have no mood, or rather I'm pretty much apathetic towards everything. I knew, (KNOW), this was not the drug for me. But I didn't,(or couldn't), explain to them exactly why, even if I thought I was dropping loads of hints...
The Doctor-Therapist/Schizoid paradox: Like I said in my original post, I may not be a full blown Schizoid and my self-diagnoses of this is tributed too the fact that it's the only thing that actually fits, (according to DSM-IV one is required to have only 3 of said 6/7 of the characterists - I easily qualify). And that it is characteristic of the Schizoid to only seek professional help when forced there by a loved one. So going to a psychologist and annoucing to this therapist I think I'm a Schizoid, defeats this prime characteristic and opening the very real possibility to be misdiagnosed once again. I realize, of course, that I could have misdiagnosed myself and this therapist may correct, inform, and help me understand what I am and possibly why. I guess it has always been my nature to be wary, distrusting, and pessimistic of people - people that want to help included. The other paradox is that we schizoids open up to VERY few individuals, not even my two 'friends' know very much about me on a deep/personal level. Taking the time to open up to a therapist invokes a strong possibility that he/she will evolve (through no ethical fault of their own), to be the one person I become emotional dependant upon. And realizing, of course, in life this cannot be allowed to happen. (Knowing some of the tricks a therapist will play to engage a diagnosed Schizoid doesn't make the situation of opening up any easier).
As far as being prescribed an antidepressant... I'm not sure I'm open to trying at this point. The only time I even feel remotely depressed/sad/down/blue is in the winter. But I think that can be attributed to S.A.D., as I see NO sun during these months. (I do 99% of errands, school, etc. at night so I don't really have to interact much). In summer when the sun sets at 9 p.m. it isn't an issue to the point that I usually forget how the winter months affect me.
If I do decide to see a professional, I know I need to shop around for a doctor that suits me, (someone not to eager to hop on the 'pill bandwagon' but also someone who shy away from a prescription pad if need be, preferably a woman - I know I open to older (motherly imaged) women better... anyway, it isn't important for you to know what type of Doctor I need as it is to me).
Ugh... whenever I think about this I always get the feeling that I'm just running in circles.
Even if/when I see a doctor I don't want, (nor actually expect) them to make me better...say to make me this gregarious and outgoing individual...maybe to just help me make some wiser relationship/social decisions to draw and locate that line in the sand I previously mentioned.
Your last paragraph shows that you really do get it. There's no magic bullet in psychotherapy. You're not going to have a sudden, profound personality shift from talking. But there's more to gain than to lose, if you find someone you can deal with. On the pharmacological front, I don't know what might be appropriate, but I'd look for a good psychiatrist for a consultation. You'll need to get a _good_ recommendation to find a good practitioner.
I wish you luck. I think your life has a lot more potential.
<i>Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.</i> -- MLK
I'm 21 and my drug of choice was heroin. I used from probably August of 2003 to December of 2004 - not very long I realize, compared to some of the other drug abusers in my class, but the lifestyle wore be down pretty quickly... I consider it a failed experiment. (Hopefully, and in a rare optimistic moment, one I never have to experience again.)
Also, HelmsmaN, how long have you been lifting? You're looking pretty big in your avatar picture. I lifted all through highschool and for the last year or so I've been clean I have gotten serious about lifting again, (one of the few physical activities I enjoy)... I'm currently about 185-190 @ 8%bf on a 5'10" frame - genetic ectomorph, (not necessary to list stats, I know, but we think about this things...)
The reference to no sun is that I take my college classes at night, 7pm-10pm, and I usually don't get up until 5ish at night, shower, go to class, etc. and go to bed in the morning... just kept pretty much the same schedule as I had when I was working. I live in Bay Area, California, in the winter time the sun sets around 5-5:30ish - pitch black around 6. So unless I make an effort to go out earlier I don't see much natural light in the winter... which is why I think my minimal seasonal depression appears in the winter. I started, (today), to set my alarm for an hour earlier and forced myself to go outside. I like to read, so even if I'm just out in the waning sun for 20-30 minutes I think it will help. Or at least I'm gonna give it trial run for a couple weeks and see how I feel.
I like that line, SteveA: "But there's more to gain than to lose." This is absolutely true, which is one of main reasons I posted here and rearranged my schedule, etc. I definitely feel my life is heading fast toward the illness side of introversion and isolation. I know I am not going to be, (nor want to be, as I have stated a couple of times), an outgoing very popular person. But there is a difference between shy/quiet/odd/eccentric to having NO contact with anyone and feeling at odds or distant from everyone.
I also just spent (too much) money at amazon.com on friday picking up some good books on the psychology of isolation, history of it, just several books that seemed interesting/received good reviews on the subject of my self-determined behavior and personality. I hoping to get a clearer picture from them.
The last little change I made is that I went out and bought a notebook to use as a journal to keep track of how I'm feeling, how I'm expressing it, etc. I've been told writing helps.
The books, slight alteration of schedule, and some social life, (what there is of it), changes I made this week, I'm hoping to get a clearer definition of well, myself, what I want to change, what I can change, how to go about it, etc. I have a rarely optimistic attitude in hoping these help a bit. I'm going to give them some time, a month or so, see how I'm doing/feeling. If nothing has changed I am leaving the option open to actually talking to my mom about what my options are, (i.e. insurance), about professional help.
Anyway, thanks for the advice you two. Typing and articulating my thoughts, (however unclear they may be sometimes), helped a good deal in seeing what options I have, what aspects need to be tackled and how to go about.
I'll be keeping in touch around this forum though... (I'm not cured yet, if one can ever be CURED?) Thanks.
I understand somewhat how you can recognise your emotions but not express them. Early last year my life was fairly monotonous, following the same routine every day. I had very little contact with people when I could avoid it and I never opened up to anyone either. I got drawn into my own little world and coldy analysed everything.
What really helped me out was when I made a concious choice to stop analysing life (so much) and start living it instead. I tried a lot of different things, met new people and eventually connected with someone who I could share myself with. It felt really good for me (someone who had never opened up to anyone before) to be an open book to someone. Of course you wouldn't want to do this to just anyone.
Ever since I made that concious choice to live more my life has improved drastically. I still do quite often 'step back' and analyse my life, but now when I do it floods with emotion, real emotion.
Although we didn't share the same predictament and I'm not sure what you are looking for, I hope you can take something from this.
"Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it"