Personality obstacle The Schizoid Personality

ns can't live without you, but I can't live v you either.

posted December 20, 2016 | reviewed by Jessica Schrader

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Schizoid civilization follow a sample of seeking intense emotional link followed by producing distance in order to defend themselves from emotion overtaken or consumed by the other. This might be particularly visible in the sexual realm, however it may occur in other kinds of intimate emotional call as well.


Larry is a 50-year-old man who did not have any type of of the noticeable characteristics that a schizoid personality. He to be married with children, famous with friends, and also for the an initial several months he seemed eager to pertained to his sessions. But he cut earlier his sessions as soon as I sent out him a postcard if on vacation—he felt ns was too connected with him. He accused me of trying to regulate him as soon as I said he join my group and he felt ns was trying to take end his life once I had actually sessions ~ above Columbus Day. Many people fear gift over-dependent due to the fact that of fear of being exit or disappointed, but Larry is fear of gift consumed by me. He defended against being taken over by his wife by having an intense connection with a woman colleague for countless years.

Unlike Larry, Phil exhibited several schizoid attributes immediately. He is a skinny and boyish young man with strictly posture and stilted speech. His affect is flat. He says he feels choose Jacques Cousteau spring at every the underwater life. The observes without feeling, “I desire to love mine girlfriend, but I can’t.” Phil is about to lose a graduate fellowship because he refuses to attend numerous classes; will certainly not take notes in class; and also never hand in documents on time. To monitor the rules, Phil explains, feels choose being taken over by the school.

Paul becomes obsessed with a woman, texting and also speaking number of times a day. However when the woman drops in love v him and also wants to spend more time with him or have actually a cursed relationship, that withdraws. That starts emotion that he has actually no time to execute his laundry or walk running. He might not prize emails or call calls; he may take a service trip without discussing it. In ~ some later on point, that may contact the woman as soon as he is depressed and also have a deep emotional conversation through her; or meet her in ~ a party and enjoy talking to her. But then that won"t call or email for main or months.

Paul walk not desire to hurt these women. That longs for love and connection, yet he recoils indigenous it out of are afraid of gift consumed by the other person or losing his feeling of self.

As we can see through Larry, Phil, and also Paul, there is a continuum of schizoid personalities. In Larry’s case, the dynamic emerged over time in the transference relationship between us, while through both Paul and Phil it to be palpable almost immediately. In either case, schizoid personalities are an overwhelming to treat because of the patient’s emotionally distance and also fear the attachment, which often manifests itself in the treatment as a absence of commitment come the work. In bespeak to help the patient, the therapist has to remember that the absence of commitment is a defense. The challenge to the therapist is come remain associated to the patience although he might act together if the therapist and also the treatment typical nothing to him. (For more on the schizoid personality, click here.)



About the Author

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Roberta Satow, Ph.D. is a professor emeritus in ~ Brooklyn College and a personal practice psychotherapist in Manhattan.