Social withdrawal VS complete lack of social competence


docs have driven me nuts by giving me different diagnoses in the past, particularly Asperger’s and obviously, Schizophrenia.

So I have a question from people here who experience social withdrawal.
my “social withdrawal” looks like this. I truely wish so much to have social contacts, a girlfriend and all that, but because I’m a complete social f*cktd, I have given up to try almost completely. I actually try it once in a while still, but it always ends in a complete disaster because I just don’t get it. I could be looking to a girl who ist sending “take me now” signals and I couldn’t distinguish it from "fk off now" look. I can’t tell a hostile cashier from a tired cashier or even sometimes from a friendly cashier (unless he is super-friendly). Ok I’m talking too much.
Short version: I’m socially stupid and therefore I socially isolate myself although I would love to have 100 friends. I’ve heard that this is rather not the case with “true” schizophrenia (they are alright with having very limited social contacts)

Please illuminate me on this.


This describes me. My main symptom in a psychotic episode is extreme withdrawal. I haven’t come across anyone like you describe yourself. I’ve been around quite a while. Mostly the withdrawal comes along with a kind of apathy. I have heard of schizophrenics not being able to read facial expressions. I don’t even look.

I wonder is there are classes to teach such things.

Maybe youv’e got avoidant personality disorder. That’s what I think is wrong with me. I have trouble with relations with people, but desire to have some of them also. My mind just draws a blank around people and I don’t know how to interact well.

@omid…Did you ever think of volunteering with a religious/organisation. I have social anxiety and find its a good place to build up ability as the people there are good spiritual people.

I think if you have difficulty interacting with others which has resulted in being bullied/ostracised, then you are more likely to become socially anxious. This in turn makes it even more difficult to interact with others.
Poor social skills/social awkwardness that lead to being bullied can become very poor social skills.
Couple this with paranoia and the temptation to hold back, even if a part of you wants to engage, can become very strong.

Some researchers say that avoidant PD is part of the schizophrenia spectrum.

Anyone besides me feel the mental health system discriminates against socially anxious/withdrawn people? :question:

Say, “I’m in pain. I can’t come up with any social pleasantries because of it. Sorry.”

Read up on body language to help know what people really think and feel


I was 100% exactly like you,if you have read the old forum,I always complaint about negative symptoms and social withdrawal…but after 5 years of trying different meds and supplement I finally found one that helps me,at least it helps rather than do nothing and I am glad about it.

To be honest,I still had some social withdrawal,but it is to a lesser extend now…my view is to get the right treatment and keep trying either medication or social treatment till you get the right one,good luck!

They are two very different critters.
Social withdrawal is stepping down by choice.
Complete lack of social competence can be from many things, usually just because one was not taught the proper behavior protocols.

You can learn how to behave in public, thus reducing social awkwardness and anxiety, there are many books on the subject, the best ones are the old ones.

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I find maintaining friendships to be a very exhausting task. I had a friend who was the best man at my wedding and he grew to hate me because I never wanted to hang out or anything.

Sometimes I see groups of people walking and laughing and acting all chummy. It makes me wish I could put forth the effort to have that kind of friendship. Though those feelings usually evaporate within a few minutes.

On top of lack of effort, I get uncomfortable around people, even if I know the person well. I don’t even sleep in bed with my wife sometimes because I feel much more comfortable alone.

I’m pretty sure social isolation is one of the main symptoms of sz. It seems to be part of every disorder in the spectrum. Though shows itself differently between them.
Eg. Schizoid -> no desire to be social.
Schizotypal -> uncomfortable around people.

In fact I heard somewhere (probably not from an accurate source) that SZ social withdrawal is basically the same as having both schizoid and schizotypal social withdrawal symptoms (don’t care to form friendships + uncomfortable around people). I very much fit that description and it was probably my first major symptom.

I am only paranoid PD but am socially isolated to a large degree. Have considered whether i am schizoid . It’s not that i have no desire to be social but can like my own company for lengthy periods.
Then sometimes i get bored and want more. I think i’ve conditioned myself to being ok by myself for long periods to avoid the frustration of wanting more more frequently and struggling to get it.
For the most part the choice between being solitary and in company is taken out of my hands and that is the frustrating thing. It’s like the difference between choosing to go or not go out as you wish and being crippled and when you get out is beyond your control.

Did this test and scored 25-no schizoid PD . and that i may have borderline(37) have avoidant(39) have paranoid(14) may have schizotypal (23)

I just took that test and got 34 which confirms that I have schizoid symptoms. I rember taking a test a while ago that had all the major personality disorders on it and I got like 92% schizotypal or something.

Though before that I took that crazy long questionnaire from my PDoc and it said schizoid, schizotypal as one axis (I forget which one, 1 or 2.) I got schizoaffective on the other axis (was depressed type, but I get hypo manic so it got changed to bipolar2 type). So, personally, I am very much both along with the sza.

I’m not really sure if you can even be sz and not score high on schizotypal. Though you just proved schizoid is apparently not a requirement.

You have come to the right place Omid. I’m sza with ausburgers indicators. The question you must ask yourself is do I want this? How badly do I want this? Because it is going to be an excruciating, slow process. However, there are rewards. I have become far more comfortable with most people (they won’t love you, but you won’t be scared of them any more). I have find a core of friends (I have two+ and people I chat with). I can’t really say if this will work for you, but this is what I have done and it has really made me a lot happier. I still am very isolated, but I enjoy my time alone now.
Before I got on meds (so I don’t know how much this really helps) I faked it. A lot. I faked it an excruciating amount. I faked that I was happy to see someone. I faked that I was happy someone called me ( I still do this one.For me to be comfortable I have to call them, but if they text me first that’s ok. I don’t feel upset, I guess because I can answer whenever I feel like it), I have faked A LOT of smiles (it starts to feel more natural and gets a lot easier). Don’t over do it though. A few minutes of chat with another student, a coworker, or someone you see a lot, works. Just make it clear you are pressed for time before you start so when you leave it won’t be so abrupt.
Online things like this and facebook are good. Once someone feels like they kinda know you they will probably want to add you on facebook. Don’t add them unless you have a reason (you have agreed to work out every other day and I don’t know, you lost your phone or something). Facebook is a good way to send them out reminders without getting too up in their face or being trapped in a planning text cycle. If you give them your number for communication about workouts that might become all they text you over.
Be alone. A lot. If you aren’t alone to recharge your battery you will never make it.
Make a play date once you can go for about 30 min. I have a friend (one of the two, K) who I work out with) We work out for about 30-45 min (and chat a lot while we do it so it probably takes about an hour). A work out buddy is good because you can’t really talk easily while you do situps, you can cancel a couple of times and it’s ok, and you will get exercise. Also you are only supposed to work out about 6 times a week not 7 so you get that time off too. You can also recruit more people to come workout with you. It’s a good conversation starter. You see someone in workout apparel (preferably someone of your own sex). “Hey, I’m sorry, but I noticed that you seem to have been working out. Would you like to come work out with ______ and I? We could always use some extra people.” You need at least one work out buddy for this to work though. People don’t want to just go work out with some random person alone. If you do research on proper workout technique you can approach someone in a gym who seems cool but like a newbie if they have really poor technique “Whoa, one second. You are doing that wrong! You could really hurt yourself that way!” Then proceed with telling them the proper form. If a conversation doesn’t start from there just go on. They will remember you and you can say hi when you see them. It might escalate into something more from there.
Go for buddies first. A girlfriend/boyfriend will come in time. The easiest way is one of your buddies girlfriend’s friends. You will all be hanging out and she will notice how nice you are, your awkward charm, whatever and go for it. There are girls who like shy guys.
If you don’t have a cell phone, get one. I know a girl who has had a couple of guys interested but she didn’t have a cell phone. No one wants to call you and get your Mom. Friends either.
That’s kinda all I got off the top of my head.
Oh, and if you work out you will be more toned and therefore more attractive at first glance. First glance is kinda make or break. If girls don’t like the way you look, good luck getting out of the friendzone. I’ve friendzoned a couple of guys because I didn’t think they looked good. That sounds mean, but do you really want to hug and kiss someone you don’t find attractive every day? Looks are a big part of chemistry. There was no chemistry with them.

I guess the difference with me is that I wont force the issue or try to label people as “friend” or “no friend”.
There is no such thing as good or bad in people. You just accept what they are and don’t expect them to do things you yourself arn’t willing to do. Friends shouldn’t drain you like a vampire, and if they do, perhaps look to yourself first for the problem. Friends are just for sharing things, not to fill a void or need.
When you lose the dependant label, life gets easier to add friends. Sometimes friends become more, and other times less. Accept what you get, and keep expectations to a minimum.
Life is best when your independant, that way you don’t have to have friends unless you want them.