Living with Schizoid Personality Disorder (SPD)
Toke, a young female who struggled with the ability to properly express her emotions. She has always been referred to as a loner, and someone who is cold and lifeless. She does not have much to say about her childhood as well.
You may have read Toke’s therapy journey on any of our social media handles but she wishes for you to have an understanding of how living with this condition really is.
Here, she shares her story.
Toke’s POV (Not our client’s real name)
I am a 24 year old single female who lives in the province of Ikeja in Lagos, Nigeria. I grew up with parents who had an interesting ideology on what parenting was all about.
My father was very abusive and he would frequently physically abuse my mother and I. I don’t know if it is how she was brought up, but my mother thought it was only right to be submissive to her husband, my father. She was unable to stand up for herself not to talk of standing up for me.
My mother obeyed every command my father gave without any complaint. I grew up witnessing this for years and had to silently suffer years of torture and incessant abuse from my father. It was even more devastating that I had to watch my mother get abused as well. This was how I grew up, with the lack of proper parental warmth and love. It was a nightmare, I was always busy attending to fresh wounds or trying to cover up my scars when going to school.
I’ve always been like this, since I can remember; but I was 13 at the time, when I noticed what are now my struggles. I had no interest in social relationships and interactions, I wanted to have nothing to do with my family, it was difficult to express any emotion at all, anger, happiness or even love, irrespective of what was done to evoke them. Nothing anyone did or said moved me, not even praises or criticisms. I just always wanted to be on my own. My grades in school weren't good news either.
My mother died when I turned 17 and this really took a toll on me. For a while I felt numb, other times I felt hatred but could never truly express it. Maybe I was just afraid, I would think to myself.
I had no idea what was happening to me till I got admitted to the university. I always found it difficult to voice out my thoughts and emotions. It affected my productivity to work and improve on myself in general.
I felt safer avoiding social activities and practically running away from any form of interaction. I could not form and maintain relationships with my coursemates. I had no friends. I preferred solitary activities. I was usually referred to as cold and emotionless. Many times I would be haunted by the memory of my abusive childhood as well.
I did feel emotions, but I rarely experienced strong emotions like anger and Joy. For some reason, I could never really express myself. I couldn't even express my anger whenever someone hurt me. I was poor with social cues and didn't know how or when to reciprocate gestures and facial expressions like smiling. I started to get depressed and sometimes even feel like killing myself.
This is how deep this Personality Disorder and the trauma of my childhood affected me. I decided to get help and came across EmpathySpace on Instagram. There I was diagnosed with schizoid personality disorder (SPD). My path to healing has been an amazing one.
Maybe one day, I will have the courage to see my father again. I do not wish to talk about myself in too much detail but all I have to say is that this condition is not very well known in our country, Nigeria.
However, as someone who has lived with it for years without even knowing, it is a serious mental health condition that slowly eats away at your sense of self. Do not wait till it gets out of hand. Get help.
For me, I took it as a coping mechanism to deal with my childhood trauma. It could be different for you. Thank you EmpathySpace as I feel like I am truly living for the first time in my life.
Consequences Of Leaving Schizoid Personality Disorder (SPD) Untreated.
From Toke’s story, I think we now have a clear view of just how serious SPD really is. It can result from a number of things aside from trauma. In fact, genetics may even come into play.
Asides from this, Toke had issues with expressing herself and showing her emotions, this was because she had gotten used to being detached from people as well as her emotions, and was oblivious of her condition.
Here are some of the consequences that can result if the order is left untreated:
Development of other mental health conditions
If left unattended to, SPD could morph into other mental health conditions such as schizotypal personality disorder, schizophrenia and even delusional disorder.
However, SPD is mostly known to morph into schizophrenia. So, it is best to get help instead of ignoring the symptoms.
Depression and suicidal thoughts
Yes, if schizoid personality disorder, SPD is left unattended to, the end result could be a serious case of clinical depression, suicidal thoughts and even self harm.
It could get worse
It is best not to leave this condition untreated as it is one of the various personality disorders that are susceptible to get worse as one increases with age.
It may be that you have gone through something similar to Toke or you are experiencing some of the symptoms she experienced.
Never take chances with your mental health. Reach out to us today and let us help you. We care about your mental health a lot!