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New here. I think I might be schizotypal.

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FlyingMonkey118

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May 21, 2021
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United States
Hi, I'm not quite sure I'm schizotypal but I figured this would be a good place to find out more information before I talk to my psychiatrist. I've been digging pretty deep into my mental health over the past few months and this makes the most sense so far. Just for background, I was diagnosed with ADHD about a year ago and until recently I was on meds for that (Strattera). I stopped because a psychology major friend suggested low latent inhibition after I described my ADHD experience and it fits much better. Apparently it's a common misdiagnosis. This is the page I found that made me realize. Almost everything in that list fits me. Looking into the relationship between LLI and schizophrenia led me to look into schizophrenia spectrum disorders and here I am. There are some specific things that I'll go into further down, but more generally I've suffered from social anxiety (high functioning, and with a thick layer of denial) since a traumatic childhood experience and depression (dysthymia) as a result of isolation. I'm not depressed anymore. Connecting deeper with a friend after they experienced a tragedy pulled me out of that very suddenly about 4 months ago, made me realize I had been depressed and why, and I've been on this mental health journey since then. I've been very socially isolated, I have two friends and I've avoided relationships, and I was content to believe that it wasn't something I could change for way too long. I'm going to go through some of the other symptoms that mayoclinic lists and explain how I relate to them. Most of these have faded over the last few years so I'm doing a lot better now. Let me know what you think.

Flat emotions or limited or inappropriate emotional responses
I've been a lot more expressive recently, but for a long time I felt like I had to exaggerate my emotional reactions to fit in. Especially if I'm supposed to be excited or shocked about something. I just don't feel it as strongly as others seem to. That could just be depression, or maybe a little of both.

Persistent and excessive social anxiety
Until recently, I never really felt comfortable with anyone. Even people I've known for a long time. Since I stopped being in denial about my social anxiety, I've been able to see that I was getting hypervigilant around other people without realizing it. I've been able to stop doing that and be more relaxed for the most part.

Incorrect interpretation of events, such as a feeling that something that is actually harmless or inoffensive has a direct personal meaning
Like overhearing part of a conversation and assuming it's something about me? Feeling like people are being passive aggressive when they just made a simple mistake or forgot something? Yep, that's me.

These two go together a little for me:
Suspicious or paranoid thoughts and constant doubts about the loyalty of others
Unusual perceptions, such as sensing an absent person's presence or having illusions
Definitely the most stressful part of this. It was most intense in the few years after the traumatic experience. Constantly felt like people were talking about me, keeping secrets, intentionally excluding me, I felt like my friends didn't actually like me, resented me, and I had either forced myself into their group or maybe it was some kind of long prank. I also frequently felt like I was being watched or followed or like someone was listening in just around a corner. Sometimes I would feel like someone could hear my thoughts. Sometimes I would get that feeling of being watched while alone and start to think there might be hidden cameras or something. I never really believed any of this, but I couldn't shake those kind of thoughts and it was enough to make me change the way I behaved or thought or try to test things. I wouldn't go so far as to call them delusions because it never crossed the line to the point of actual belief, but still very stressful.

Belief in special powers, such as mental telepathy or superstitions
Again, I didn't really believe it, but it was more like I couldn't be sure enough not to at least try to test it. I started noticing weird coincidences where I would think about something happening and then it would happen. I started to think that maybe I could make things happen by thinking about them hard enough. It's been years since I've thought about that now.

Most of the peculiar/eccentric behavior symptoms don't fit me all that well from my perspective. I've generally tried to avoid seeming strange to people, so maybe that's why. It might also fit from an outside perspective, though, and I don't really want to go around asking people if I'm weird.

The last thing I want to say is that I'm a lot better now. I'm not depressed and much less anxious now than I was when I started this. Mayoclinic says people with schizotypal personality disorder "generally don't understand how relationships form or the impact of their behavior on others." I think this is most of what I'm dealing with right now. I'm making a huge effort to be more social now and yeah, I don't really understand how to make friends. It just feels like I'm going to do something wrong or something is going to get misinterpreted and I think it's just from lack of experience. I've avoided all of this for too long so it feels very awkward. It's been difficult so any insight here would be very appreciated.
 
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RockyMountainsGirl

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Joined
May 1, 2021
Messages
199
Location
Alberta, Canada
I hear your concerns, and I'm so sorry you're going through a difficult time.

Having fears in connection with others, and what they might possibly be thinking, is frightening. But the depression and the anxiety are really debilitating.

Even psychologists need to see psychologists. I hope you realize this and will seek help.

It seems as if you also want to confirm your diagnosis. Psychologists can conduct testing to help diagnose personality disorders.

Since you live in the U.S., you may know that Pearson is one of the organizations that creates psychological tests. For example, two of their tests include the MMPI-3 and the MMCMI-IV. These help clinicians quickly identify clients who may require more intensive evaluation.

The tests also provide an in-depth analysis of personality and symptom dynamics, so they include action-oriented suggestions that therapists can follow.
 
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FlyingMonkey118

New member
Joined
May 21, 2021
Messages
3
Location
United States
Thanks for the reply. I'm seeing a therapist and I have a psychiatrist that I see for ADHD that I'm going to bring this up to. I know I can't get a diagnosis here and I'm really just wondering if my experiences sound relatable to anyone here who has been diagnosed and if anyone has tips for friendships/relationships that might be useful for someone in my position. I have good social skills, but I just don't know how to get closer to people past casual conversation.
 
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RockyMountainsGirl

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Joined
May 1, 2021
Messages
199
Location
Alberta, Canada
I think this may be something that will help: Social Skills Training for Adults: 14 Guides to Improve Socially

I, too, experienced trauma as a kid. I later learned that I lacked the kinds of social skills needed to make friends.

I know what you're going through to a degree because I went to so many schools growing up that I never learned how to make friends. My dad was an alcoholic and my mom was abusive.
 
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FlyingMonkey118

New member
Joined
May 21, 2021
Messages
3
Location
United States
Thanks for the suggestion, but I don't feel like I'm struggling with most of what that article talks about. My social skills are generally fine. I would describe myself as charismatic, even, especially now that I'm able to control my anxiety. Just so you know where I'm at with this, I've spent the last few months pretty intensely psychoanalyzing myself, digging down to the root of my anxiety, and now I'm at a point where I understand it well enough to let it go. I just don't put any energy into it and it's been an amazing difference. I've been asocial until recently, but I work in customer service and sales so I've had plenty of opportunity to stay sharp and improve in a lot of areas, and I'm naturally an extrovert anyway. Yes, being a socially anxious/isolated extrovert is as awful as it sounds. Did I mention I was depressed? I just haven't had any interest in making friends for years, so I'm not sure what I'm doing beyond casual conversation. I did find a section on that site about how to make new friends, though, and that was helpful so I appreciate you pointing me in the right direction. Just having examples of the "right way" to go from acquaintances to friends gives me something to build on and figure out my own style without it feeling like I'm just taking a stab in the dark and hoping it works.
 

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