Posted by: ST | 2008/11/16

Do I need help?

Good day doc,

I think I might have schizoid personality disorder. I' m terrified of going out with people who invite me, getting physically sick to have an excuse to cancel yet again. I have no friends and even visiting family is torture. The company I work for lets me work from home most days and I really enjoy it. When I started working from home the few days I had to go in to the office was tolerable, life even felt better, but I' m feeling more and more anxious when I have to go to the office. I make sure to spend the minimum of time at the office. I generally don' t have a problem with my lack of friends.

My fiance and I have been together for many years and he wants to get married, but I' m scared to be that dependent on him and the thought of having children who depend on me terrifies me. I' m thinking of ending our relationship, I struggle to cope on my own, how will I be able to care for a child? He' s also a private person, so he hasn' t really noticed how anti-social I am. I' m busy with a masters degree and I use it as an acceptable excuse when he goes to see his family and I stay home.

I don' t really have a problem with being on my own. My problem is with him trying to move forward. This past year he has become more adamant about having children, getting married etc. I don' t know how to articulate what I' m doing.

I have my own world in which I live when I' m on my own. I' ve done this since I was a child, coping with abuse and a very unstable childhood. I always feel like I have control over the fine line between my real life and my fantasy one. I only indulge in my fantasy when I' m alone at home or driving in my car. But I feel myself losing grip on that line. The characters of my fantasy life has now become part of my real one, now I know they aren' t real, but I' ll imagine that one of them will be sitting next to me in the meeting, or walking next to me, etc. Its making me even more antisocial. I' m even retracting to my study when the fiance is home, using excuses that I' m working, just to be alone with my fantasy life.

Part of me really wants to end the relationship so that I can be more alone, but I know its not in my best interest. He' s a wonderful man who' ve been my safety net. I' ll probably not be able to live without him and he' s the main reason I haven' t given in to my thoughts of suicide.

The problem is I' m well adapted. If you should meet me at work or at my home you would never say that I struggle so badly. Hell as long as I don' t question my fantasy life and focus on myself I even feel ok. People at work find me funny and like spending time with me. If I should tell the fiance at how bad I' ve become he would probably think I' m over exaggerating, or being over dramatical. I don' t think I' d ever be able to tell a person face to face about this.

Should I ignore this and cope the way I' ve been coping? Should I end my relationship and tell him I don' t want children? Should I get in the car and never come back?

I don' t know if I should be concerned or if this is just the way I am?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

What you're descibing sounds uncomfortable, but not necessarily schizoid --- could be, for instance, a social anxioety disorder, which responds really well with treatment --- which would result, not in your automatically becoming the life and soul of every party, but in having the choice of whether to socialize or not, and the freedom to enjoy it when you chose to do so.
See a good local shrink for a full assessment and a discussion of ntreatment options. Whether medication might help or not, would be one topic to discuss, and I'd expect that counselling, especially of the CBT format, would help a lot, including helping you to make a wise decision about this relationship, which should be based on more self-knowledge than is currently accessable to you.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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