An essay about isolation. Why people with schizophrenia live in protective solitude

I have just spent time with my S.O. friends, who have been family to him / us for decades. I could only be social for a few hours and retreat to my room.

I felt like a bad person / friend.

They stayed with us for a week. Today I woke up back to my peaceful life.

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Hey thanks for posting that article @Kxev . I don’t agree with a couple points made in it though. It seems like the article was kind of projecting the authors feelings onto all schizophrenics.

#1 I don’t avoid people because I am afraid of their “judgment or condemnation”. I avoid most people because I generally am not interested in having face to face conversations with them anymore.

#2 I’m not generally afraid to tell people I’m schizophrenic. I may not tell everyone, but I have told quite a few.

Maybe I am just an exception to these rules, but I just wanted to note that I did not agree with some of the authors points referring to “we”, assuming that means all schizophrenics.

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I been socially isolated for many years, It’s just getting worst.

I just don’t understand where it comes from and this article touched on some points for me.

Like how I avoid all text messages, from people who care about me. Yet I can’t respond. And now I am completely isolated except when my SO once in a while has friends over.

Is isolation different for everyone - but is it inevitable that having schizophrenia leads to complete isolation.

Or do some have some social life?

I feel the same on your #1 point. I am not interested in conversation with IRL people at all.

I think of socializing as a muscle. Also solitude is a muscle too.

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I don’t mind brief social exchanges with some people in irl. But I am not into long social discussions irl. I much prefer the format of this forum, where i can think about my responses, type a few lines and move on if I choose to or respond if I choose. I don’t like being trapped in real life conversations. I get a weekly call from a friend, for example, and I generally cant wait until it’s over.

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@Bowens Wow - but you do converse. I get in these situations less, and feel exactly the same way. I can’t be wait for it to be over.

@LevelJ1 I can see that as a possibility - but solitude muscle feels so safe.

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Yeah im no stranger to isolating myself. I try to force myself to maintain my few friends and family.

I could just as easily not respond to any texts for a month and it wouldnt bother me. But then family worries about me whenever i go quiet for more than a week

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The only way my sister or anyone knows how I am doing is checking in with my S.O. I don’t text at all. And I am only in social situations because of my normal S.O.

Maybe one day I can be able to let people who care into my world. But I don’t want to talk about how my symptoms are ruling my life.

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I don’t like being around crowds, that makes my symptoms worse. I tolerate individuals fairly well, but I don’t care to waste my F2F time on people who aren’t interesting to me.

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I don’t have any issues with crowds anymore, but maybe if I were to find someone interesting enough, as you said, I would tolerate f2f better. Most people, outside of my parents, I just don’t like long f2f social interactions anymore. Generally feel like I’m usually forced to perform and keep the conversation going, when I truly have no interest in it.

Edit: I’ll be completely honest, I like my friend that calls me. She is nice and all, but she just bores the ever loving Sh__ out of me. LOL.

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@Bowens
Yes. Real life social is a performance. Stress. Work. Boring. Uninteresting. Listening to normal problems. Not being able to share my struggles cause they would never understand it or they do then expect me to still be normal.

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Irl I collect people who talk a lot because I don’t. I know I talk a lot on the forum and I don’t know why, but irl I just don’t. I spend almost all of my time alone now and it’s nice.

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I fit in at AA meetings because it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, you’re welcome if you have a probem with alcohol. I don’t mind sharing there.

I really enjoy going on group photography outings. We can spread out enough that I don’t get wound up symptom-wise and I can relate to everyone present. We all have a shared love of photography. My biggest problem is that I am so advanced I tend to intimidate amateur photographers. We all start out not knowing what we’re doing with a camera, so that’s okay. People took the time to help me learn and I feel an obligation to pass the craft to the next person. I try to be careful not to give devastating critiques of other people’s images.

FInally, I love hanging out with others to cook good food and enjoy the same. Gourmets and gastronomes are welcome in my home (now with precautions - stupid virus).

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i havent yet read the article but i have ended up isolated in life because of sz. i just read it and i relate and agree.

shrug

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I haven’t talked to the man I’m seeing in about a week now. Before we talked daily, and while the frequency bothered me then, I felt obligated to put up the act of being normal. Now it’s just too much. The constant hiding of my symptoms, and self. Not being able to talk about what I’m experiencing. The voices commenting on everything. Being hyper focused on if I give myself, or them, away. It’s too much stress.

He wants so badly for me to be normal, and if I’m not, there’s a problem. If he doesn’t make me smile, there’s a problem. If I don’t want sex, there’s a problem. He doesn’t understand it at all. I don’t even care if he does now. I just want to be alone, where I don’t have to hide anything, or be criticized by normal people who don’t know wtf they’re talking about. I don’t have the energy to keep it up anymore.

Isolation is easier.

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Similar thing I wrote on fb year ago…
Well composed…

And got 350 likes, no deeper thoughts on matter, except one therapist, and that’s what happened

The reason I wrote is fight against stigma, I wrote it under my own name, not pseudonim…

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My apathy prevents me from socializing. Lack of emotions, flat affect, etc

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I’ve always been more of a loner than not.Far more into solitary activities rather than group ones. Even before signs of mental illness I struggled when it came to social interaction. I’ve always found initiating conversations and being proactive in forming friendships very difficult . Those comments may sound at odds with my being somewhat of a loner, but there are times when I do enjoy company. The trouble is it tends not to like me.

I’ve now given up on trying to form F2F friendships. It’s been a case of failure after failure, with the exception of my late wife and my (s) daughter and family. Those who take the time to know me find I’m an OK person. The trouble is most people’ impressions of you are formed in a few minutes rather than hours, days, and weeks.I tend to not give an instantly favourable impression .

There’s that song from the ‘King and I’. It’s a pleasant song, but not the way most people behave.

In the last couple of years due to lower backache, then Covid and then the falls I’ve only been out for things likr Covid vaccinations. , and that’s been a case of getting in my (s) daughter’s car rather than walking there.

Things are relatively better online but that’s like saying I’ve moved from 40th to 20th place in a 40 person race. I’m respected more than I’m liked.

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Sort of a strange article about how szs are alone but then the article proceeds from being about her experiences as I, to the experiences of her group of paranoid friends which becomes we, and then we becomes about szs in general.

I liked reading it though thanks for the link.

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