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  • Schizoid

    Schizoid

    Guntrip defined regression as "Representing the fact that the schizoid person at bottom feels overwhelmed by their external world and is in flight from it both inwards and as it were backwards to the safety of the metaphoricall womb."
    Such a process of regression encompasses two different mechanisms: inward and backwards. Regression inward speaks to the magnitude of the reliance on primitive forms of fantasy and self-containment, often of an autoerotic or even objectless nature.
    Regression backwards to the safety of the womb is a unique schizoid phenomenon and represents the most intense form of schizoid defensive withdrawal in an effort to find safety and to avoid destruction by external reality. The fantasy of regression to the womb is the fantasy of regression to a place of ultimate safety.


    ...

    Secret


    Descriptions of the schizoid personality as hidden behind an outward appearance of emotional engagement have long been recognized, beginning with Fairbairn's (1940) description of 'schizoid exhibitionism' in which he remarked that the schizoid individual is able to express quite a lot of feeling and to make what appear to be impressive social contacts but in reality giving nothing and losing nothing, because since he is only playing a part his own personality is not involved. According to Fairbairn, the person "...disowns the part which he is playing and thus the schizoid individual seeks to preserve his own personality intact and immune from compromise."

    ...

    Salman Akhtar describes [the] dynamic interplay of overt versus covert sexuality and motivations of some SPD individuals with greater accuracy. Rather than following the narrow proposition that schizoid individuals are either sexual or asexual, Akhtar suggests that these forces may both be present in an individual despite their rather contradictory aims. For Akhtar, therefore, a clinically accurate picture of schizoid sexuality must include both the overt signs: "asexual, sometimes celibate; free of romantic interests; averse to sexual gossip and innuendo," along with possible covert manifestations of "secret voyeuristic and pornographic interests; vulnerable to erotomania; tendency towards compulsive masturbation and perversions," although none of these necessarily apply to all people with SPD.

    Schizoid Personality Disorder
    (*V*)


  • #2
    There's a couple of good points there Pilgrim (at least)

    That the womb is a focus of interest of the schizoid personality, and that compulsive covert masturbation might be present

    I wonder how the diagnosis would differ in a person displaying compulsive public masturbation and/or exhibitionism, or is this just an alternative schizoid trait?

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    • #3
      ...

      Originally posted by Nemo View Post
      I wonder how the diagnosis would differ in a person displaying compulsive public masturbation and/or exhibitionism, or is this just an alternative schizoid trait?
      The exhibitionism mentioned in my post refers to the fact that "the schizoid individual is able to express quite a lot of feeling and to make what appear to be impressive social contacts but in reality giving nothing and losing nothing, because since he is only playing a part his own personality is not involved."

      Further references to the secret schizoid come from Masud Khan, Jeffrey Seinfeld, and Philip Manfield, who gives a palpable description of an SPD individual who actually "enjoys" regular public speaking engagements, but experiences great difficulty in the breaks when audience members would attempt to engage him emotionally. These references expose the problems involved in relying singularly on outer observable behavior for assessing the presence of personality disorders in certain individuals.

      ...

      In my view, then, the 'schizoid exhibitionism' might perhaps just as well have been manifesting itself along these lines: "A man coming in the opposite direction to Kelly tapped her on the shoulder and said something to her. They both burst out laughing. I heard her say alright to him. And the man said you will be alright for what I have told you. He then placed his right hand around her shoulders."

      A 'metaphorical regression to the womb' might then, on the one hand, be the underlying theme; on the other hand there would be a literal, psychotic manifestation of that theme. The way I see it a borderline, near psychotic state would then have to be established first, triggered by some extremely stressful life event such as the loss of a first-degree relative and confidant - the weakest point of the schizoid personality - most probably the mother. In such a state, following upon a close encounter, a schizoid personality might, then, be acting out the underlying theme in a very literal way.
      (*V*)

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