Posted by Dinah on August 12, 2002, at 10:07:43
In reply to Re: schizotypal personality disorder » Dinah, posted by Kari on August 12, 2002, at 7:43:22
> Hi Dinah,
> >I've gradually come to believe the blunted emotions are a combination of strong dissociative skills and some Aspergerish qualities. >
> Does anyone else in your family have similar dissociative skills or Aspergerish traits?
I can see some Asperger's traits in my family. No full blown Asperger's. Dissociative skills I don't think I'd be able to see, and it's more of a learned coping mechanism. But as I learn more about myself, I realize that it isn't necessarily that my feelings aren't there, but more that I'm separated from them. I am very good at dissociation.
> >Have you looked into Asperger's? I understand that there is some diagnosis overlap. >
> Thanks for the tip. I looked at some information now and some of it seems to fit.
The thing (other than neurological signs) that really seems to fit me is the inability to read social cues. I'm excellent at reading emotions, but lousy at conversational rhythm, jokes, all sorts of social things. I have to fake it a lot, which makes face to face socializing a strain, although I'm not a teensy bit shy or phobic about socializing. I just find it difficult.
> >I do have what some people may consider odd perceptions I guess. I am extremely aware of what is happening in my body, and I might experience anxiety or anger, for example as being broken into isolated physical effects, rather than saying I'm angry or I'm anxious. And I firmly believe I pick up the emotional energy of other people. My perceptions are usually quite accurate however, so I'm not sure that they are odd at all. >
> Me, too :) After many years of being overwhelmed by such intense feelings such as anger and depression, I lost the ability to feel. Now all emotions appear to be physical sensations-extreme physical tension and feeling on the verge of explosion instead of anger, for instance. I can describe feeling that "nothing in my body works anymore" instead of recognizing this as depression. As difficult as this is, the alternative was far worse.
> I also pick up on people's moods, even when they themselves aren't aware of it. It is obvious to me, for instance, when a family member is on the verge of a depressive crisis.
> Your perceptions don't seem to be strange. Perhaps your therapist is uneasy about the fact that he can't hide his moods around you :)
Definitely true. It's kind of funny to watch him now trying to be perfectly honest while framing his honesty in the most positive way possible. So I do think he's uneasy at my accurate perceptions. You should have seen him blush when I told him exactly how long a period of time he really dreaded seeing me in his office, before he became more comfortable, or various times he was angry with me. I think it makes him especially uncomfortable that I can read him better than he can read me, when it would be more useful in therapy for the reverse to be true.
> By the way, do you also feel that you sometimes project your feelings or their intensity onto other people?
Oddly enough, no. There are times when I can practically see my psychic energy (for want of a better word) snapping and crackling with anxiety or agitation. I almost expect people to jump back when they touch me, or at the very least be as aware of my moods as I am of theirs. But no. I am actually quite flat in my expressions and people have a harder time reading me than they do most people. I have gone through two week agitated depressions with my husband being largely unaware of them. And my therapist as well has trouble reading me. Much less anyone else. It's odd to me, as I see the ability to pick up on these things as essential as seeing or hearing. But I did grow up in a volatile home and may have developed my sensitivity to reading emotions as a way to emotionally survive.
What other sort of things make you feel like you might have schizotypal personality disorder?