Avoidants who become schizoid
Some personalities who are avoidant in origin, may become
The frustrations and humiliations they experience generate an overwhelming anger.
“defence mechanisms” provide a solution to the conflict by isolating and repressing
their anger and their emotions.
The person, who is left with few emotions, has become schizoid – not a pure schizoid,
but an intermediate
This ‘converted’ schizoid yearns for social relations, but is incapable.
The resultant anxiety, rather than the social indifference, leads to intense loneliness
It is not only avoidants who stand the risk of becoming schizoid, but also obsessives.
DSM-I and DSM-II integrate schizoid and
avoidant in the same group,
while DSM-III place the avoidant in a different group.
ICD-10 theorizes that the schizoid fantasizes, but this
is more true of the schizoid-avoidant than of the pure schizoid.
I mention this here merely for clarity, and for the sake of interest.
And continue on the premise that ICD-10 and DSM-IV are similar.
THE AVOIDANT-SCHIZOIDS AND THEIR EMOTIONS
Avoidants are, in fact, emotional.
This is evidenced by the fact that, during close encounters
in which they feel comfortable, they are able to express
This is their other mask – the emotional one.
When avoidants begin exploring their social environment during early childhood,
they ‘learn’ that the expression of certain emotions, especially anger, is dangerous.
This sense of danger triggers fear.
This fear is primitive and powerful. It is intricately linked to the
individual’s survival and is, therefore, vital to it.
To overcome this sense of fear, avoidants block
their emotions (tenderness, anger, joy ...) (1)
While blocking these emotions is a defence mechanism,
it does not block the feeling of fear, which is
a constant presence in the avoidant’s life.
Both the schizoid and the avoidant behave with emotional coldness.
But the avoidant’s emotions are merely blocked and,
therefore, the prognosis for psychological therapy is better
than the schizoid’s would be.
Consequently, the avoidant is only classified as low to medium grade schizoid.
Both society and culture regulate the expression of human emotions:
--- Joy may be expressed without restriction.
--- Tenderness is limited to our family and friends,
--- whereas anger is always severely restricted.
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