Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
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03-11-2013, 08:43 PM
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
I slip in and out of depression to varying degrees and with varying frequency and duration. Sometimes it's kind of the blues and other times it's pretty debilitating. I am bad about stopping meds when I start to feel better, probably would be better off if I just took them all the time.

I'm not anti-social. I'm pro-solitude. Sleepy
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03-11-2013, 08:54 PM (This post was last modified: 03-11-2013 08:59 PM by amyb.)
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
I have schizoid personality disorder (or "schizoid personality type", for those who don't want the stigma of the word "disorder") and it pretty much defines most of what I do in life, how I experience the world, how I interact (or don't) with other people. I don't mean that in a negative way, necessarily, but it can cause some misunderstandings.

For example, I actively avoid social contact. I don't have social anxiety at all; I just don't desire interaction with people in real life. It took me years to find a job I could depend on that required zero social interaction, zero contact with coworkers and clients except through email, etc. I have zero interest in romantic relationships, which is also characteristic of SPD, and no interest in having children. I force myself to go visit friends once or twice a year (I don't mean each friend, I mean all together, I leave the house for social visits maybe twice a year). I don't have the emotional need for human contact that most people seem to have. The only time I communicate with people is if I feel like talking about religion, politics, or Star Trek. I don't talk on telephones, unless it's to the pizza place.

Another thing about disorder vs. "type": it doesn't cause me distress very often. The only times my SPD distresses me is when other people misunderstand my reasons for doing things and give me shit about it. For example, some people think I'm single because I'm shy. I am not shy. There are people that say they feel sorry for me for being unmarried and having no kids, and this shows that they don't understand that single and childfree is my ideal situation. When people pity me for being the way I want to be, that kind of irritates me.

In high school I spent a few weeks in a psych ward and was diagnosed with clinical depression and schizoaffective disorder. I am convinced that I do not have schizoaffective disorder and that I didn't have it then, either. After that, they started going with bipolar disorder, but antipsychotic drugs fucked up my life pretty bad for a while there, anyway.

I'm seeing two therapists now who work very differently. One agrees with my past diagnoses of bipolar disorder and SPD; the other disregards all that and has my diagnosis listed as "mood disorder: not otherwise specified." Many past therapists have discussed a possibility of my being on the autistic spectrum, and though I have some characteristics I think that's more of a misinterpretation of SPD symptoms, which fit me more closely. Many therapists avoid even considering SPD because it's very rare, and even rarer in women.

But anyway, SPD tends to be characterized by a lack of affect (often causes people to think I'm mad or dislike them, I guess I have Resting Bitch Face), a dislike of emotional displays in others (whether negative or positive), lack of interest in socializing/tendency toward being solitary, not giving a damn about social norms, few close friends, valuing independence greatly and sometimes a sort of narcissism (which I try to restrain).
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05-11-2013, 05:08 PM
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
The second to last paragraph is rather amusing, but as for the last one, how did you narrow those traits to schizoid personality disorder? Chloe O'Brian has the lack of affect you describe and you don't sound like a schiz- to me. Just curious. Though I wouldn't necessarily know what they sound like...

How do you quote on this forum, by the way?
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05-11-2013, 06:25 PM
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
You can click the "Reply" button on the bottom-right corner of someone's post to quote the whole thing. Or you can copy and paste sentences and put [quote*=theirusername] in front and [/quote*] at the end (minus the asterisks after quote).

Anyway, I have had anxiety issues as long as I can remember. It started when I was little, as social anxiety, and later became generalized anxiety. I always feel anxiety with or without a cause. I can be in public or at home trying to watch TV - it doesn't matter. Only when I'm distracting myself with physical activity, music, or work do I stop feeling anxious.

On top of that, I've had problems with depression since high school. There's no specific reason - I just feel "down" most of the time. I feel fine when I'm distracting myself, as with the anxiety, but if I'm not sufficiently distracted it's there. Being immersed in nature helps too, though it's not terribly helpful as I live in the natureless suburbs.

My anxiety makes getting work very difficult, either because I am physically incapable of doing a job due to the immobilizing anxiety, or I find it impossible to appear to be what everyone seems to want in a worker. From my experience, no one wants a serious work-focused worker who wants to learn, they want a charismatic dolt who kisses ass, treats managers like gods, and talks about sports, pop culture, and beer. And yes, I am bitter. Being ignored, rejected, and insulted tends to do that.

I can be happy by myself, but I need money for rent, food, other expenses, and to support my recreational activities. My mental illnesses make it very difficult to find and keep a job, so I don't have that money.

If something can be destroyed by the truth, it might be worth destroying.

[Image: ZcC2kGl.png]
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05-11-2013, 07:06 PM (This post was last modified: 05-11-2013 07:11 PM by amyb.)
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
(05-11-2013 05:08 PM)Christsays Wrote:  The second to last paragraph is rather amusing, but as for the last one, how did you narrow those traits to schizoid personality disorder? Chloe O'Brian has the lack of affect you describe and you don't sound like a schiz- to me. Just curious. Though I wouldn't necessarily know what they sound like...
I only listed some of the common traits. I don't know who Chloe OBrien is, but lack of affect and/or showing restraint when it comes to emotional display doesn't necessarily mean a person has SPD (even social isolation wouldn't mean that). Some of the older diagnostic criteria from the DSM IV can be found here: http://behavenet.com/node/21648 So various psychiatrists and therapists told me I fit the DSM criteria, and that's how I got the list of traits.

I don't think there is a particular way a person with SPD sounds, though it's possible you may also be thinking of attributes of things like schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, and the only things these have in common with SPD is the root "schiz-". SPD doesn't cause hallucinations or delusions, the root "schiz-" comes from a Greek word that means something like "to split," and in the case of SPD, it means split off from other people. (Schizophrenia on the other hand is made of words meaning "split mind.")

Here's a definition I just googled:
"Schizoid personality disorder is a mental health condition in which a person has a lifelong pattern of indifference to others and social isolation."

So I'd say, in my case, it is mostly defined by a lack of a desire for social interaction (any socializing, friendships, lack of interest in romantic relationships), and that is why SPD is the diagnosis I have rather than some other thing. I've also read some things on attachment styles, which said that schizoids simply don't form attachments to people. On the other hand, most people feel lonely when not around people for long periods, derive enjoyment from social activities, seek out (or at least desire) romantic relationships, desire to have a family. In short, most people are social animals and it would bother most people emotionally to be isolated.
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05-11-2013, 07:26 PM
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
Quote:(3) has little, if any, interest in having sexual experiences with another person
(4) takes pleasure in few, if any, activities
...
(6) appears indifferent to the praise or criticism of others
(7) shows emotional coldness, detachment, or flattened affectivity

As it applies to you I'm curious about 3 and am virtually certain you do not fall under 4, 6, or 7.

amyb Wrote:So I'd say, in my case, it is mostly defined by a lack of a desire for social interaction (any socializing, friendships, lack of interest in romantic relationships), and that is why SPD is the diagnosis I have rather than some other thing. I've also read some things on attachment styles, which said that schizoids simply don't form attachments to people. On the other hand, most people feel lonely when not around people for long periods, derive enjoyment from social activities, seek out (or at least desire) romantic relationships, desire to have a family. In short, most people are social animals and it would bother most people emotionally to be isolated.

You're mangling things. If you have SPD why are you here, by the way?
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05-11-2013, 08:00 PM (This post was last modified: 05-11-2013 08:10 PM by amyb.)
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
Quote:As it applies to you I'm curious about 3
I haven't had sex in 14 years, and it won't bother me if I don't ever do it again. I prefer masturbation to partnered sex, though I'm on meds which cause low libido so I don't really do that, either, these days.

Quote:... [I] am virtually certain you do not fall under 4, 6, or 7.
You have 12 posts on this board and you are saying all my diagnoses from years of therapy are wrong? That seems a bit odd to me. How do you presume to know what I do and don't take pleasure in, or the amount of emotion I display, if you don't even know me?

Quote:You're mangling things. If you have SPD why are you here, by the way?
In many cases, the only social interaction enjoyed by people with SPD is debating, discussing hobbies, etc. (as opposed to talking about partying, social interaction, relationships, gossiping). Spending time discussing politics and religion on a forum is completely in line with SPD (and as with many other diagnoses, one doesn't have to fit all the criteria, anyway).

How am I "mangling things?"
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05-11-2013, 08:09 PM
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
I haven't had sex period but I ain't renouncing it hardcore. And I wonder what that preference is about.

As you have pointed out yourself, it wasn't exactly the consensus choir singing. By the way, here's a question to ask the next time you go to a therapist and psychiatrist- Do people with SPD even care that they have SPD? You appear to.

Again, how you've managed to narrow that to SPD is quite puzzling. You sound more like you have something up your butt along with something else considerably less severe than SPD.

O, and,

amyb Wrote:Evil Rat Agent (so I'm told)

Dodgy
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05-11-2013, 08:13 PM
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
OK, then... I'd respond but I don't usually respond to people who tell me I have something up my butt and act like they know me better than my therapists do.

On that note, I don't really enjoy anal sex, either.

Quote:Evil Rat Agent (so I'm told)
You can't be absols. Absols didn't type in complete sentences. She gave me that title.
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05-11-2013, 08:18 PM
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
If you have SPD I'll eat my liver.
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