Hello. I’m 18 years old and been wondering about this for some time, even though my sex is female I don’t really associate myself with a gender, I feel like I’m genderless instead. I was never a social person, even when I was young, and it got worse as of now. Even in high school I had a small group of friends (never passed 5) but I would only be with them during school. Once school was over I would stay home and spend my time alone in my room. Which in college (I have no friends there) I just return home and spend all my time alone. I also hate parties, large crowds, and would often avoid it no matter what. Not only that but I never really understood ‘friendship’ well (especially now). I often question myself on how people form friends. I don’t quite understand the bond people often feel. Also my friends had often said that I always appear calm and indifferent to everything (which is somewhat true). Since I don’t really express my emotions since I don’t feel comfortable around others and don’t know how to. Another things is that I already know that I won’t marry anyone or have children since I have no desire for that, in fact I’ll feel worse if I had to. I have no interest in the same or opposite gender, but that could be because I’m aromatic asexual. I’m perfectly fine with living by myself for the rest of my life, but others often say it’s wrong and I should change it. I also hate being touched by anyone, which means I never hug others and hate when others hug me, no matter if it’s someone I knew (family included). In fact I had multiple friends in school who had to move to another country but I couldn’t really feel sad about it, to me everything was still the same. I also won’t get excited if I meet someone I hadn’t seen in a while.
I have also experienced paranoia somewhat. I’m not sure if others do it but I if I ever type in a credit card or some other important information online I would never think it or say it out loud in fear that someone would be able to hear it. Also during high school at some point I believed it so much that I started thinking in a different language just to make sure no one would understand me. At some point I was even convinced that my parents installed cameras around the house. I also sometimes feel like there is someone with me but I just can’t see them (it doesn’t happen often though) but it always makes me uncomfortable. At night I even have a ritual that I must do before I go to sleep(nothing related to religion or my culture). I feel if I don’t do it then something bad would happen. I don’t know if my appearance is odd, but people often find it weird that I don’t wear make-up or put any extra effort into looking pretty (I sometimes don’t even brush my hair). It’s just that I don’t value appearance as much, I mostly wear sweaters (baggy shirts) and long pants. I also daydream a lot. I don’t know if it changes anything, but I would always create stories in my head, with characters (sometimes fantasy), and often think how their life would go. Whenever I daydream I often forget about the world around me. Also recently (probably for about two weeks) I have heard a voice that couldn’t be someone else. It doesn’t happen often (it only happened three or four times). I had heard the word ‘what’ said by a female voice (when I was alone) and some words I couldn’t understand by a male voice (I was in a classroom but only the professor was talking). This might not be a big deal since I haven’t heard anything else for a while now and I don’t think I would. Sorry for the long post and thank you for reading it.Could I Have Schizotypal?
Could I Have Schizotypal?
A: Thanks for writing in with your question. It sounds like you have already done some research by looking up possible diagnoses for the symptoms you list here. I agree that many of the things you list sound like they could be part of Schizotypal Personality Disorder, but there are some other similar disorders that would need to be ruled out as well. If you really want more clarification I would suggest that you schedule a complete psychological evaluation including a clinical interview and standardized tests such as the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). You may be able to do this through your college counseling center but otherwise could ask your medical doctor or insurance company for a referral. Not all psychologists do testing so you may have to research who does.
Finally, getting an accurate diagnosis is the first step but working with a therapist might help you develop your ability to form meaningful relationships and to identify and express a wider range of emotion. Medication might also reduce possible paranoid thoughts and perceptual distortions, allowing you to live a more comfortable life.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts