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A documentary introducing the idea of a struggle for civil rights of Autistics Citizen Autistic by William Davenport

Oppressed Group: Schizoid A Personality Not a Disorder

Allison J. Himelick {December 5, 1997 SLW 603 Dr. Beckett}


alone to feel my sickness. the sickness that is a part of every living creature. the sickness of life, that grows in a woman's stomach, like a cancer bringing death to a reality that has already died . . .

Michael G. Breece

He is brilliant, intelligent, creative, and hardworking. He is kind, endearing, loyal, and supportive. I am so glad that I have Michael in my life and someday we plan to be married. Michael is, what society calls, a schizoid. Some people who do not understand what schizoid means may find me calling him that a put down or belittling him, but I am not. Michael is a part of an oppressed group of people, those with Schizoid Personalities. The following will be an oppressed population analysis of those diagnosed with this mental health condition. In examining the history, perpetuation, impact, and consequences of the oppression, it will be recognized that those with Schizoid Personality do not have a disorder, but a life-style difference to that of general society. It is due to this difference that schizoids are an oppressed population. Based upon this examination, strategies will be proposed in which to help alleviate oppression toward schizoids and how professional social workers can play an active role in facilitating this change. Michael's life experiences will be used as a case study to provide an intimate understanding of how he faces oppression and how I, as his significant other, also cope with this hardship. History In 1908, Eugen Bleuler, a Swiss psychiatrist, coined the word, "schizoid" to describe people who illustrated seclusive, withdrawn behaviors which did not coincide with social norms of being outgoing and extroverted (Millon, 1987). The Greek derivative "schiz" refers to split or division and "oid" is a suffix referring to like and/or resembling (Webster, 1982). Therefore, in combining them together it would describe one that resembles splitting away. In other words, schizoids divide or separate themselves from people and social interactions. Unlike schizophrenics, schizoids do not illustrate psychoses in their behavioral tendencies. There is a general misconception of what schizoid means. Unfortunately, since "schizoid" has a similar prefix as schizophrenia, it can create extreme nervousness in meeting someone diagnosed "schizoid." For example, it may provoke feelings of misunderstanding, concern, and overall feeling uncomfortable. This reaction is not only hasty, but saddening since schizoids are individuals that simply choose a life of minimal social interaction. In 1925, Ernst Kretschmer added upon Bleuler's findings and proposed two distinct subgroups under the rubric of Schizoid Personality: hyperaesthetic and anaesthetic schizoid types. These subgroups illustrate how schizoids are discriminated against and oppressed. Kretschmer portrayed the hyperaesthetic as follows: Timid, shy, with fine feelings, sensitive, nervous, excitable . . . Abnormally tender, constantly wounded . . . "all nerves," . . . [hyperaesthtics] feel all the harsh, strong colors and tones of everyday life . . . as shrill, ugly . . . even to the extent of being psychically painful. Their autism is a painful cramping of the self into itself. They seek as far as possible to avoid and deaden all stimulation from the outside (Millon, 1987, p. 277, sites Kretschmer, 1925, pp. 155).

Kretschmer continues the analysis of Schizoid Personality in defining the other subgroup, anaesthetic, in contrast to hyperaesthetic: We feel that we are in contact with something flavorless, boring . . . What is there in the deep under these masks? Perhaps there is nothing, a dark, hollow-eyed nothing-affective anemia. Behind an ever-silent facade, which twitches uncertainly with every expiring whim . . . nothing but broken pieces, black rubbish heaps, yawning emotional emptiness, or the cold breath of an arctic soullessness (Millon, 1987, p. 277, sites Kretschmer, 1925, pp. 155).

In reviewing both subgroups, Kretschmer appeared to have a sense of intrigue in studying

schizoids. Along with the intrigue, there lies a discriminatory undertone reducing those with Schizoid Personality as "nothing" and having "soullessness." In fact, Kretschmer may have been describing an extreme case of Schizoid Personality which is not an accurate case study to propose theories upon. In describing a "creature" who is catatonic with fear, provokes feelings of extreme pity and freakish awe . . . none of which are positive reactions to one's personality. In discussion of Michael's life, it will be noted that not all schizoids illustrate such bizarre and barren behavior. Other theories arose as a result of Kretschmer's analysis of Schizoid Personality (Kantor, 1992). Psychiatrists have compared schizoids to someone with Autism, Avoidant Personality Disorder, Schizophrenia, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Anti-Social Personality Disorder, and Agoraphobia . There has been conflicting research in correlating Schizoid Personality with other mental health conditions (Kantor, 1992). For example, some studies find that Schizoid Personality is a precursor to Schizophrenia and other psychopathologies, whereas other literature will find there is little to no correlation (Wolff, 1995). Instead, Wolff (1995) suggests that making that conjecture is based upon loose research and easily made assumptions quite simply due to having the same prefix. Schizoids have been characterized as those with psychoses, deranged behavior, and violence, whereas schizoids are generally people with little social interaction and high intelligence (Wolff, 1995). Theories upon theories have attempted to further analyze Schizoid Personality and how it could be an antecedent to severe mental health conditions, yet there are several (although few) theories that suggest those with Schizoid Personality live somewhat "normal lives," (Wolff, 1995) What creates an abnormal life, is society advocating typical schizoid behavior to be weird and crazy. Ironically, schizoids just keep to themselves and for some reason society finds that life-style choice to be unsettling. These irrational beliefs are discriminatory and oppressive to schizoids. For example, Millon (1987) contends that those with Schizoid Personality are destined a life of dank and pitiful existence: What does the future hold for the schizoid? . . . The impassivity and lack of color of schizoids enable them to maintain a comfortable distance from others. But their preferred state of detachment is itself pathogenic, not only because it fails to elicit experiences that could promote a more vibrant and rewarding style of life but because it fosters conditions that are conducive to more serious forms of psychopathology (Millon, 1987, p. 295).

Whereas, Wolff (1995) states:

There is further point to be made at the outset...schizoid personality traits may be biologically advantageous for the population in general because of their possible association with originality and giftedness (Wolff, 1995, p. 15).

One could argue that the contradictions in analysis are common in further understanding personality types, however, I am proposing that statements such as Millon's (1987) and especially Kretschmer (1925 sited by Million, 1987) illustrate how those with Schizoid Personality have been ridiculed, pitied, discriminated against, and characterized, therefore leading to being an oppressed group. As mentioned earlier, it appears that theorists tend to base their theories on rare and extreme case studies, creating justification that schizoids do not deserve to live a rewarding life opposed to being oppressed and deemed hopeless. In continuing how schizoids are an oppressed group, I would like to relay Michael's life in terms of past, present, and future. A personal account will better illustrate how living a life as a schizoid can be rewarding due to its foundation of independence and honesty, however, extremely difficult because it is a life of oppression. Michael In seeing old movies of Michael as a child, it is evident to the viewer that Michael preferred to play alone. While the other children in the movie chased each other around and made faces at the movie camera, Michael was content sitting alone and examining nature and the mechanics of things. He looked at bugs, took apart toys and examined how they were constructed, or other times just sitting quietly alone in deep thought. Not once did he look at the other children, because he had no interest in their activities. Michael relays, "It wasn't that I was revolted being around others. I just simply preferred being with myself more than being with them." According to Reber (1987), Schizoid Personality in children and adolescence is defined as:

A childhood disorder marked by a lack of ability to form friendships with peers, a lack of interest in doing so and a decided lack of pleasure derived from such interactions when encouraged or arranged by others. Such children are withdrawn, aloof, and seclusive and typically react negatively to demands from others for social interaction. They display, however, none of the signs of a psychosis such as loss of reality testing (Reber, 1989, 666).

Of course, children turn into adults and according to Wolff (1995) children who exhibit Schizoid Personality generally continue noted behaviors into their adulthood. But, again, there are no significant implications that children with Schizoid Personality cannot live fulfilled lives as adults. Wolff (1995) states that children with Schizoid Personality tend to exhibit gifted-like qualities and throughout adulthood, many establish successful working and family lives for themselves despite society advocating they change. Schizoids find ways to continue their life-style preference without feeling shame for not being like the majority. However, some did remain dependent on their families during adult life and actively pursued a strong solitary life, yet, few had a delinquent development and very few became engulfed in mental illness (Wolff, 1995). Instead, they lived lives of depression due to feelings of societal ridicule and judgments. Michael has lived a life of solitude and when asked how he feels about it, he states, "I actually like it. I mean, sure, I get lonely for companionship at times, but I enjoy being alone and not really being around people." When asked why, here is Michael's response: "Control. I don't really like to be around people because, in my opinion, few can do things right. What do I mean by right? I do not mean it in a fascist or Nazi-like fashion, I just simply become annoyed with those around me who feel compelled to make decisions that could negatively or even positively affect me. I make decisions for me, that is what I prefer. I realize that many do not understand this, so I choose a life of solitude. It is easier for everyone involved. See, I am an introvert. I have been all my life and will be until my grave. I take information and analyze it from an inside to outside direction. Meaning that, I don't talk about the weather or things that are deemed out there (Michael motions direction away from self), instead, I like to talk about more serious and interpersonal information. I am not a small talker. It is like I live the life of a monk. I am alone with my thoughts and I refuse to sell my soul to socialization" Manfield (1992) suggests that those with Schizoid Personality tend to intellectualize as a defense mechanism in not talking about their feelings, etc. Similar to Millon (1987), Manfield (1992) believes that schizoids need to assimilate and control their "pathology" otherwise their lives are a shame, waste, and altogether worthless. Michael responds to these judgments: "Why must I be like everybody else? I am not psychotic. I am not causing myself or anyone else any harm. I am not wanting to gain advantage over anyone. My personality is similar to that of an Avoidant or Agoraphobic than Narcissistic or Anti-Social. I have no ill intent toward those choosing a life of socialization. I prefer to be alone. Do not pity me. Do not judge me as a freak or loser. I am a loner, as you will, a person who simply prefers a lifestyle of solitude. This preference does not make me pathological."

There have been several attempts to explain why people may be diagnosed with Schizoid Personality or exhibit such tendencies. The psychoanalytic theory is that a child did not receive adequate attention from his or her mother causing the child to be bittered and lonely along with feeling overly sensitive and vulnerable. As a result, the child actively chooses to not be around anyone as a means to avoid being hurt again (Manfield, 1992). Seinfeld (1991) contends with Manfield (1992) stating: It is the intensity of schizoid hunger that accounts for the patient's efforts to repress it and go through life as automation. In repression, the isolated, hungry self can only become hungrier, emptier. Hunger is no longer a need but transformed into an identity component. He ceases to be a baby calling out because he is hungry. The cry is silenced. Hunger is no longer a need and a cry but rather a state of mind (Seinfeld, 1991, p. 23).

Another theory is that of "learned helplessness" believing not feeling worthy of social interaction as a result of being psychologically abused and/or neglected as a child (Seinfeld, 1991). Along with feeling silenced and ignored, the child becomes an adult silenced not feeling "allowed" to express desires and needs. I asked Michael what his feelings were regarding these theories: "I don't know. Perhaps I did feel ignored as a child and maybe I have repressed the pain of it, but I don't feel like that is so. For example, I did not stare from a far at children playing together and long to be involved in their activities. It just felt natural for me not to be with them, but to be alone with my own activities. Funny how I didn't worry about them, again, unless they intruded on what I was doing, but many people worried about me. . .especially my family."

I asked Michael's mother, Peggy, what she recalls his behavior to be like when he was younger: "Michael pretty much always kept to himself. Sometimes he would have friends over, but they were only kids he felt close, too. I noticed that he would have a "good" friend for several months, then one day he wouldn't be friends with that person anymore. I didn't think much about it, since kids can be kids, but I always wondered. Although, he would generally have a new friend within some time. As he got older he would generally come and go as he pleased. I'd ask him where he went or whom he went with, but most of the time he would go alone. The movies, concerts, bookstores, coffee shops . . . he would usually go by himself. I would say, ‘What about your friends? Didn't they want to go, too?' Michael would say, ‘I didn't ask them, I preferred to go alone.' I sometimes worry about him. I wish he went out more and was more talkative. I just want him to be happy."

Even Michael's mother has difficulty in accepting his life-style. Therefore misunderstandings and having unfounded concern happen within Michael's family life. So, not only is society, in general, declaring he change, but so is his family. They love him, but they do not fully understand that he is okay and content with his life. The problem, again, lies in those thinking it is in his best interest to assimilate. They do not realize that in suggesting that he change is, in itself, a form of oppression. I asked her, too, if there was any time during Michael's childhood that he might have been ignored due to a family crisis or something that would detour attention away from him as a child and she said:

"Shortly after Michael was born, my mother became very ill. I would take care of her during the day. I did housework and took care of her. It was like a full time job. Michael's father and I didn't have the money to send Michael to daycare nor did I want anyone else to "raise" my child, so I would take Michael with me to my mother's. I would pitch open the playpen and I would bring several toys for him to play with. I didn't really spend a lot of time with him, since I spent so much time taking care of my mom. I always knew he was safe, though. I mean, I kept my eye on him, but I didn't really get to be with him as much as I had liked."

Of course, due to his young age, Michael has no recollection of being alone in his playpen nor any feelings that could have developed as a result of his mother spending more time with his dying grandmother than with him. Psychoanalysts would declare that Michael having Schizoid Personality is a direct result of not receiving adequate attention from his mother. Although, how can that be deduced? If that is so, why are not more children in daycare centers, which are generally understaffed, showing Schizoid Personality tendencies? And, if there is a cause and effect relationship, then who is to blame for Michael being seclusive, withdrawn, and uninterested in societal pursuits? Better yet, should there be a "blame?" I asked Michael his thoughts on the matter: "I wouldn't doubt that being alone at the beginning part of my life played some important part in the development of my personality, but the question is, ‘Who cares?' I doubt if there is one thing that was the precursor to the personality that I have. I mean, sure, I wouldn't doubt that perhaps my mother spending time with my grandmother could have provoked me to be self-involved and I was taught to somehow occupy myself . . . but isn't that, in essence, independence? Being independent was all I knew and when there were opportunities to be in a crowd or follow the crowd . . . I declined. I am an independent being by nature. I adhere to strict independence and I expect the same of others. See, I think that's why I spend few time with other people. There is this double conflict. I will not alter myself for anyone. I guess it is either my way or the highway. And, generally, people don't want to alter themselves to my doctrine of living or being independent and not relying on others to make decisions or think on their behalf. I doubt if I will ever be a part of mainstream society. I wish it weren't like that, but it is and it most likely will continue that way." In analyzing what both Michael and his mother said, it makes sense that Michael maintained close friendships for short periods of time. Some psychiatrists may say that Michael's refusal to adapt himself to others is a pathology or a disorder. I am suggesting that it is not. I realize that one could argue that I am bias, since I am engaged to Michael. However, I do sincerely believe that Michael lives a life of oppression. For example, my family, despite their good intentions (similar to that of Michael's family) do not realize that he is content with who he is and just because he chooses to stay at home while I go out, does not mean he is depressed, weird, or all together having problems. I will address in further detail how strangers have been cruel to him, but I will continue discussing my relationship with him. I must admit that there are times that I find it amazing that we are a couple, considering I am so outgoing and prefer to spend time with others along with spending time with him. Unlike Michael, I socialize daily with others including him. I love being around people. Despite our differences we have developed a very compatible, loving relationship. I met Michael through a personal ad. It was his ad and I just happened to glance through the classifieds when his ad happened to be listed inside. I had never called an ad before, but his ad intrigued me. He mentioned he was an artist, Buddhist, vegetarian, who enjoyed movies, computers, and literature. I remember showing his ad to my girlfriend and she said, "Allison, sounds like he is going to be very introverted." I replied, "You think?" And she just nodded, "Yes." Little did I realize how accurate was her intuition. I will not go into the details of our meeting, since this analysis is about oppressed groups, but I do want to relay how I found myself during our first date mocking and discriminating him for not being more social. I questioned his reasons for not attending college and overall why he did not spend more time with others. In essence, I could not understand why Michael was not more like me. Similar to the mentioned theories proposed by psychiatrists, I pitied Michael for not being social. I found his seclusiveness to be pretty weird and in some ways disturbing. Despite my negative feelings about his life-style, I was intrigued by his high intellect and political and social convictions. Michael was so brutally honest about his beliefs on issues and values. He did not "candy coat" anything. His tactlessness both fascinated and scared me. Michael never lies. Michael conforms to no one. Michael is a true independent person. Within weeks of being with him, I fell in love with his shrewd sincerity and refusal to accept what society deems important and "right." He provoked me to fully evaluate why things are the way they are. He taught me to critically analyze and fully evaluate myself and my decisions in life. All of these lessons amazed me. I found out things about myself I did not want to accept or never paid real attention to their existence . . . I began to grow through both pleasure in pain in self-evaluation and evaluation of the relationships I had chosen in my life. I am so glad and relieved that Michael never gave up on me. Overall, Michael has been a tremendous asset to my life and I value his intellect, kindness, loyalty, and extreme honesty. I do not think we would have met any other way than we did. With his extreme introverted state and me being highly extroverted, I doubt if we would have talked to each other. It took the impact of a blind date to meet and find out if we were compatible. Please do not misunderstand me. Like other relationships, Michael and I have had problems and concerns. Unfortunately, a lot of the time they revolve around his extreme seclusiveness and withdrawn behavior. Overall, I do accept Michael's life-style, but I have to monitor any guilt tactics I have used in the past as a means to have him attend social gatherings. At times, I have made quick assumptions that since I may find someone enjoyable to be around, so would Michael. He has no problem with my life of socialization. In fact, he understands that it is important to me, so he encourages me to socialize, however, it does not interest him. He has no ill feelings toward my family or friends. Michael just prefers to either be alone with his art, his thoughts, his books, other hobbies, and with me. He is not secluded or withdrawn with me and I find it an true honor that he has chosen me as his partner. Along with being always honest, Michael talks to me constantly about his views, feelings, and beliefs. I love to hear what he has to say. He continually amazes me with his high intellect. However, Michael does have bouts of depression, because he does not at all feel comfortable in society. He does not feel the same sense of freedom discussing such thoughts and emotions with others. Why? As mentioned earlier, Michael has no desire to socially interact with others and society finds his apathy to be pathological. These judgments are oppressive and can provoke him to feel depressed. Michael finds society, in general, "unevolved." And I must admit, I agree with him. His political and social views have reshaped my thinking and it has created this new sense of endurance to better understand oppression and fight for social justice. I greatly respect Michael's insight and I am blessed to hear his thoughts daily. Ironically, Michael can go weeks even months not saying a word to another human being besides me This sounds so strange in our highly socialized society, but this means nothing to Michael. Instead, he prefers the company of his thoughts and only shares them with few people, including me. When he does talk to others, he is generally misunderstood and ridiculed. Why? Due to his extreme introverted state, Michael is rather socially ineffective. He does not communicate with others effortlessly. In addition, his tactless and shrewd words can turn people off. Opposed to listening to his words, attention is paid to how those words are presented. As a result, Michael feels vulnerable, angry, and very uncomfortable and the other party generally feels vulnerable, judgmental, and sometimes discriminatory of Michael for not being more like them. He has had several people suggest he "practice more" or "assimilate" into society . . . his life, therefore, would be easier. However, who's life would be easier? Michael would no longer be Michael if he were forced to be social. Manfield (1992) states: Schizoid patients yearn for a relationship, but the possible injury associated with even slight emotional contact is more than they are willing to bear. They are continually faced with dual fears of both isolation and engulfment. There is no comfortable direction for them to turn. Afraid of direct contact, they attempt to express their locked-in emotions through artistic expression, or they retreat to the safe haven of intellectual thoughts and pursuits. Control is an obsession in their lives because they cannot risk the emotional upheavals that might result from a situation that gets out of control. They weigh carefully everything that they say or that is said to them, replaying conversations over and over in their heads (Mansfield, 1992, p. 254).

As illustrated, it is no different than asking fish to fly, Michael is not a social creature. And when he chooses to be social, it is only with a select few. This does not make Michael a freak, weirdo, or pathological case . . . it simply means he is different. And as discussed in Social Justice, "different" does not constitute being wrong, weak, nor inferior. Anyone or group that does not follow such guidelines tends to be discriminated against, judged, and ridiculed. Michael has been treated in such a way no different than any other minority group. In a lot of ways, his situation is more complex and difficult. Being that, Michael is a blue-eyed, middle-class, white man. According to social norms, Michael is supposed to be in a position of power and advantage over others. It is not understood why he simply cannot "speak up" more or attend social functions. Because his differences are not blatant, others assume he is a social being and once they find out that he is not and actively chooses a life of being independent and withdrawn, there is a strange dissonance in the air. In other words, society believes that Michael could and should change, but since he does not . . . that portrays him as being weird, a freak, bizarre, and a loser. It needs to be addressed that Michael has experienced a multitude of abuse throughout his life. His mother wishing he "socialized more" is tame compared to what comments have been hurled at him. He has been laughed at, disrespected, ignored (as if he is a ghost), and yelled at for not adhering to the social norm of socializing. I realize that it may sound extreme, but I can attest that strangers have outwardly discriminated him due to their prejudices that he should be like everyone else. The discrimination he experiences has, at times, made me cry. I wish others could just accept Michael and love him for who he is. He means no one any harm. He keeps to himself, but many people have gone out of their way to ridicule him. "Cat got your tongue?" "Can't speak?" "What are you a mute?" are just a few hurtful and ignorant comments made to him. If Michael chooses to speak, his shrewd sincerity and high intellect bombards them. The result is pretty chaotic. Generally, they are shocked how Michael is not weak and can, if need be, defend himself. Out of embarrassment and cruelty, their discriminatory comments tend to persist and Michael removes himself from the situation feeling angry and oppressed. Not only has Michael suffered from such comments, but since I have chosen him as my partner, I have had people (including friends and family) say very hurtful things. For example, one time I was going to use the telephone to call him and I overheard my aunt say to my brother, "I don't know why she bothers calling him, he doesn't ever speak." One person, who at the time I considered a friend said, "So, what do you and Michael do together? I have this image of the two of you sitting alone in the dark doing nothing." My uncle asked once, "So, what's wrong with him? Why doesn't he trust people?" It hurts me that people I care about would say such ignorant things about the person I deeply love. I wish people would just accept and really respect our relationship. It is as if, since Michael rarely speaks, then he must be a "bad" person or does not deserve my love and affection. These beliefs shock me each time they are relayed and I feel so much disappointment in people whom behave and say such ignorant and oppressive statements. To them, their comments are funny. Instead, they hurt and, at times, devastate me. Meanwhile, while someone's husband is shooting the breeze with his father-in-law, at night he batters the man's daughter. What a shallow and inaccurate gauge to decide if someone is "okay" just simply based upon being an extrovert. In being bombarded with such judgments, Michael and other schizoids begin to question their existence which can provoke feelings of extreme isolation and feeling lost in not understanding why change needs to occur on their behalf, especially when change would result in not being original beings or spirits. Michael states: "I would rather die than be anything but who I am. As I have said, I will not alter myself for anyone. I take great pride in who I am and I refuse to live my life as anyone else, even if it means that others may respect me or be kinder to me. It would be a lie and I will not compromise my whole sense of being due to people being shallow and narcissistic. This is my life."

The problem lies that Michael feels alone in his feelings. One could argue that since he has chosen a life of solitude, then why should it matter. It is extremely insensitive and dangerously naive for those to assume that since Michael prefers a seclusive life-style then he is void of feelings or the need of love and affection. He is able to recognize that he is a part of a minority group, but it is very difficult to come into contact with other schizoids. Of course, this is due to the seclusive lives schizoids tend to live. Similar to other minority groups, Michael would greatly benefit being around others like himself. In meeting other eccentric people, perhaps Michael could better understand himself and not feel "crazy" for not assimilating into society. Michael states: "Even if I could talk to another schizoid just once, I would enjoy that. I have not met anyone else who feels the same way about socialization. I would like to hear what obstacles they have overcome or still attempting to overcome."

Unfortunately, schizoids do not have a recognized organization similar to that of the NAACP or NOW to advocate for social rights and fight discrimination. There is no gathering place for schizoids to have an opportunity to talk and share feelings, thoughts, and views. Instead, the setting is generally a therapy based with behavioral modification programs stating their personality type are "disorders" and not worthy of continuing as introverts. The reality of it is, society respects extroverts. It is very hard being introverted . . . not to mention being "highly" introverted. Of course, these societal judgments can create feelings of low self-esteem and extreme loneliness. Even if Michael toyed with the idea of being more social there are no outlets for him to develop social skills. He must immediately assimilate into society. This does not interest Michael . . . it is too encompassing and creates a strong sense of vulnerability. Plus, feelings of anger develop since it is his responsibility to adapt to the majority opposed to his diverse life- style being respected and valued. As a result, isolation and seclusiveness remain in tact in both behavior and life patterns.

Implications for Social Workers I have reviewed the texts used in discussing the history and assessment of Schizoid Personality and I suggest taking a new approach in creating a better living environment for schizoids. Instead of trying to change the person, I am advocating for society to become more tolerate of those with who are extreme introverts and recluses. As mentioned earlier, schizoids are absent of psychosis, but even so, those with varying mental health conditions deserve a life free of oppression and ridicule. So, how do I suggest that society begin being less critical, judgmental, and discriminatory of schizoids? Teach children at early ages that being extroverted does not mean being superior or better than those who are introverted. Teach celebration of diversity and incorporating those exhibiting Schizoid Personality (minus the "disorder") and other mental health conditions into cultural awareness discussions. Using education as a tool, children may begin to better understand that just as African-Americans, elderly persons, impoverished persons, and those with disabilities deserve respect and love, schizoids deserve the same opportunities and attention. Instead of mocking and ignoring, better understand how we can better understand each other's differences and turn what is considered a "weakness" into a strength. Assimilation does not equate happiness. Instead it promotes feelings of shame, anxiety, and pain of not being allowed to just "be." Along with education, another strategy social workers need to facilitate is creating a social network for schizoids. For example, it would be helpful for them to come into contact with employment opportunities that would provide a social-free working environment, so when a schizoid chooses not to participate in "office chit-chat" he or she is not deemed weird or strange. Not only that, schizoids do not feel comfortable in such settings. There should be a list of jobs sectioned off in the classifieds under "working alone" professions. They are out there, but it is difficult to research them. Most employment ads ask for "outgoing, social, talkative sellers." Of course, all of those characteristics are not associated with schizoids, making it hard to find work environments compatible to their personality type and chosen life- styles. Another benefit in creating a social network is to provide schizoids the opportunity to be themselves and talk with others that live similar lives. One could argue or even joke that it would be difficult to find schizoids to create a social network hence their lack of social interaction, but I disagree. I mean, it would be a challenge, but it is not impossible. For example, a social worker could list a support group in the newspaper or magazine or create a website so that schizoids can converse among each other yet do so in the privacy of their homes. Nonetheless, there are strategies social workers can implement to help eliminate the oppression schizoids feel. Just because this minority group does not outwardly declare, "I deserve rights, too!" they do warrant a life free of oppression. It is a disservice for practitioners to implement strategies which incorporate "changing" schizoids. In doing so, social workers are accepting and advocating for further social injustice and oppression. As the NASW Code of Ethics states: Cultural Competence and Social Diversity (a) Social workers should understand culture and its function in human behavior and society, recognizing the strengths that exist in all cultures. (b) Social workers should have a knowledge base of their clients' cultures and be able to demonstrate competence in the provision of services that are sensitive to clients' cultures and to differences among people and cultural groups. (c) Social workers should obtain education about and seek to understand the nature of social diversity and oppression with respect to race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, political belief, religion, and mental or physical disability (National Association of Social Workers, Code of Ethics, January 1, 1997, 1.05).

It is the responsibility of the social work profession to not predetermine who is eligible for services. Oppression feeds on ignorance and it breeds as the ignorance becomes a social norm. Those with Schizoid Personalities do not have a "disorder" but a gift of high independence and intellect. Regardless, in just being a sentient being they deserve access to available resources, otherwise they feel alone . . . not by choice but as the result of oppression.

References :

Breece, Peggy (1997). Interview with Michael's mother.

Breece, Michael (1997). The moon is the only witness to my sin. Interview as case study analysis.

Dowson, J. H., & Grounds, A. T., (1995). Personality disorders: Recognition and clinicalmanagement. New York: Cambridge University.

Guralnik, D. B. (1982). Webster's new world dictionary. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Kantor, M. (1992). Diagnosis and treatment of the personality disorders. St. Louis: Ishiyaku EuroAmerica.

Manfield, P. (1992). Split self/split object: Understanding and treating borderline, narcissistic, and schizoid disorders. Northvale: Jason Aronson.

Millon, T. (1987). Disorders of Personality. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Reber, A. S., (1987). Dictionary of Psychology. New York: Penguin Books.

Seinfeld, J. (1991). The empty core: An object relations approach to psychotherapy of the schizoid personality. Nortvale: Jason Aronson.

Wolff, S. (1995). Loners: The life path of unusual children. London: Routledge.

Sal I Restriction Enzyme Recognition Sequence
Thinking in Moving Pictures
Graphical depiction of an Eigenvector
Animation of the vibrational modes of 2-Aza-4-oxocyclobutanone
A documentary introducing the idea of a struggle for civil rights of Autistics Citizen Autistic by William Davenport