Cumartesi, Mart 30, 2013

Life of the schizoid in a nutshell

"Solitude is bliss" :
Life of a low-level schizoid in a nutshell

TAME IMPALA - Solitude is Bliss from MEGAFORCE on Vimeo.


The director’s fantasy seems to deceive us all at the beginning of this video clip, but it actually represents the "internal fantasy world of the schizoid". This fantasy world inside is in stark contrast with how the schizoid appears to be from outside; there are deep feelings, great passion, intense longing for another, and fantasy of huge self-sacrifices.


Suffering in the hands of the “system” that keeps him “in the human beings’ world”. In-der-welt-sein is felt as a curse by the schizoid.


Relief in a "dehumanized" planet -> euphoria -> a sense of superiority. (other side of the splitting). “Self-in-exile” part-unit. (1)


Destructive nature of "human relations". This scene is repeated for several times. The video clip beautifully represents how a low-level schizoid is deeply disturbed and easily traumatized by everyday's ordinary human relations. In those relationships, the schizoid experiences a deep level of worthlessness just as the narcissist does (aggressive side of the splitting, i.e., master-slave part-unit). The schizoid depicted in this video clip is a low-level, hence, rarely visits libidinal part-unit. A schizoid who does not often stay libidinal part-unit (low-level, i.e. DSM schizoid) would not come to therapy, either. Because therapy signifies connection and relationship (libidinal part). The way of acting in a crowd differentiates him from the anti-social. The schizoid’s main pursuit is to avoid people, and does so by running away rather than committing any offense, which might get him closer with people.


Still in the Exile. Indistinct object relations obscure “meaning” in the outside world and devalue others. If it is combined with superego pathology, upbringing in, and witnessing violence, it may lead to a low-level homicidal schizoid. Such a criminal may kill many people just out of curiosity, wondering what it is like. (2) This part-unit (self-in-exile) is characterized by the main themes of obscured “meaning”, i.e. “alienation”, and devaluation of others, i.e. sense of superiority. As the sense of alienation becomes harder to tolerate, it may trigger a wish to “return to the world”. Distancing from people -> distancing from humanity -> dehumanization -> alien-ation (in the sense of becoming an alien this time, an outsider) may scare and cause him to panic. This episode does not take place in the clip, because human relationships are perceived to be so battering that we can anticipate that this person may never want to come “back” (DSM schizoid)(3)


The "master of the unmanned planet” confuses his superiority fantasy with reality; hence, a brief period of psychosis. Schizoid personality disorder takes place in the schizophrenia-related personality disorders spectrum. It is suggested to include avoidant personality disorder in this group.


How destructive human relationships are to him !


Coming back home from work must be like that. Escape to solitude is so important for a schizoid.


Low capacity of emotional processing reveals itself in the face of "affection" -> panic -> rage -> violence.
This is highly differential for the schizoid. "The schizoid experiences emotional over-stimulation (over-emotionality) as an overall ‘emotional pain’." (S. Akhtar). The schizoid in the clip is very low-level (already pre-psychotic), considering that many schizoids struggle to meet their needs by maintaining nonhuman relations while avoiding people. Animals may sometimes be very significant in such cases. You hear them glorifying animals with such words as: "Animals? They are one’s only and real friends. They would never treat you with ingratitude, or betrayal." With these words, they actually express that they cannot tolerate the battering nature of human relations and withdraw to the world of nonhuman beings.

Ahmet Corak, M.D., PhD


(1) It may be difficult sometimes to differentiate the schizoid’s sense of superiority from the grandiosity of the narcissist. The sense of superiority has been claimed to be reduced to the schizoid’s well-known sense of self- sufficiency. The stronger the longing is for human world, the quicker the superiority feeling turns to worthlessness (oscillation across the splitting). Therefore, it may not be easy to interpret the sense of superiority in the higher-level schizoid (avoidant personality disorder in the DSM). The avoidant long to mingle with people (the main difference between the schizoid and the avoidant in the DSM). If the sense of superiority is understood as grandiosity during analysis, it should be considered that narcissistic pathology underlies the avoidant personality rather than schizoid. On the other hand, the pseudonarcissistic schizoid presents himself/herself with a narcissistic picture (narcissistic defenses) early in analysis, and as time passes, the schizoid intrapsychic structure appears underneath. The fundamental structure which reveals itself is that of a cold sense of superiority just used to keep one’s distance from people (aloof) rather than an inflated grandiosity.

(2) This character, depicted in many movies, has not committed any offense and has gone unnoticed during his childhood and youth (contrary to the anti-social). Their “pseudo-sociality” does not allow anybody to penetrate into their inner world.

Haneke's movie "Benny’s Video" (1992) is a significant work on this theme.


(3) For the difference between the DSM schizoid and the dynamic schizoid;


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