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MUST READ ► My Horrific Experience With A Psychopath

December 20, 2012


Adam Lanza may have possessed a severe form of a schizoid or schizotypal personality trait. Those traits are not the same as schizophrenia.

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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4 comments:

  1. Amen - he was yet another mentally ill shooter - the media & politicos want to make this a gun control issue when it is about mental illness AND how DIFFICULT it is to involuntarily COMMIT a person to hospitalization. those laws changed a few decades ago to give the disabled MORE rights - & that IS the problem now!

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  2. No offence to the writer here, but I highly doubt they're qualified to diagnose a disorder which is in and of itself still quite mysterious and misunderstood by qualified mental health professionals.

    -AMP

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  3. This is an extremely naive and ignorant interpretation of schizoid personalities. They have no difference in perception of reality than the average joe. It is a tendency to prefer solitude due to a lack of emotional dependencies in relationships. A harmless loner, the archetypal hermit. In fact, a Schizoid person would typically be more mentally stable than most `normal` people due to a low reactivity threshold to emotional experiences. They function mostly on rational and logic, which is why the average emotionally needy person is so mystifying to them. Please don`t delegate psychology terms you`ve briefly heard of to notorious mass killers with no real background knowledge. All you`re doing is making the world that much more ignorant.

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  4. I am a schizoid. You obviously have at least a small amount of understanding of what a schizoid is. That being said, it is a very small amount. Schizoids aren't afraid of people. Sometimes they are afraid of the emotions that come with socializing. Others are completely apathetic and indifferent to other people. He may or may not have been schizoid, but he would have had to have another personality or mental disorder to have done what he did, and it would be THAT disorder that caused him to shoot those kids. A fear of people and being rejected is Avoidant Personality Disorder (if I'm not mistaken), where someone wants to fit in with normal people but is scared of rejection and torment. To say that we 'process reality' differently than others is extremely easy to take out of context. You may as well be calling us crazy. The only difference between how I view the world and how the average person views the world is that I view most of what normal people do as boring and/or stupid. Him being 'emotionally torn'? Schizoids usually have anhedonia. That is the absense or dulling of pleasure. But it works both ways. It causes painful and pleasure emotions to dull or to cease to exist. "Schizoids need proper intervention" No. We need to be left alone. We don't hate other people. But they can be annoying. Schizoids just want to be left alone. Knowing you are Schizoid takes away a lot of stress. The biggest stress (for me at least) was trying to socialize with people. I tried to fit in but something was always missing. I had a hard time reading other kids and responding appropriately. I also had a hard time coming up with things to say, and I thought the other kids were boring. Thus, I was labeled 'the weird quiet kid'. I felt like something was wrong with me for being different. If I had known I was a schizoid, perhaps I would not have felt 'wrong' for being different. But beyond getting a diagnosis, Schizoids do not need therapy unless their disorder is VERY severe and/or is having a greatly negative impact on their lives, both of which are rare. I do agree with your last sentence. But he did not kill those children because he was Schizoid, a diagnosis which doesn't really seem to fit here. Also, don't call Schizoid Personality Disorder a "disturbing" condition. It is not disturbing. I function fine and only a few people even know I am a schizoid. I assume some people think I am antisocial or shy, but nobody views me as a ticking time bomb because I am not one. I'm fine the way I am :)

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