Others who ignore the tell-tale signs of this disturbing condition contribute to its destructive outcome that, in most cases, goes no further than the tormented mind of the person enduring it.
Schizoid persons are detached from social connections by anthrophobia, a fear of people, and compensate for their shortfall by developing an intense and detailed imaginary world.
If true, the Newtown killer would have experienced a distorted sense of self that most can't even imagine. That misperception would have been accompanied by severely undeveloped social skills.
Without the physical or mental capacity to defend himself, Lanza may have been the perennial target of emotional abuse that forced him to view others as extremely hostile. Imagine a small child growing up and living in a world of mad dogs with no way to defend himself. Flight, and not fight, is the only means of self defense. The outcome would be an emotional bent that could culminate in hostility.
Lanza likely viewed his social environment as analogous to an interactive video game in which he was thrust against his will as a participant. In such a scenario, one's experiences aren't perceived as real and, therefore, their participation is unnecessary, even nonsensical. Relief from the stress of intense social settings comes by withdrawal where the Schizoid mind finds a haven in its make-believe alter reality.
Lanza would not have viewed small children as lovable and indefensible. Rather, he may have drawn on his painful social experience of constant taunting and viewed his young targets as demonic tormentors who left him emotionally torn and tattered and deserved to die.
Framing schizoids in the context of self is short-sighted because they process reality differently than others.
Extremely shy schizoids are typically viewed as passive because they are incapable of reacting to hostility. They are, in fact, seldom violent.
The responsible strategy to avoid destructive episodes such as the Newtown disaster is to recognize that extreme social withdrawal has a cause that may be both innate and experiential. Schizoids need proper intervention. However, they avoid therapy because they fear nearly all humans as hostile including therapists. Because they are not schizophrenic. that is, they don't experience auditory or visual hallucinations, others often underestimate the extent of their distress due to a lack of disturbing outward manifestations.
After the killing spree, many expressed their hatred for Lanza as an evil maniac without recognizing that their own lack of empathy for his condition made them contributors and enablers when he eventually acted out his frustrations.
Read more about schizoid personality disorder at Mayo Clinic's website, Mayo.com ►
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