Hi thanks Dr Keane
I was informally 'diagnosed' by my therapist (who thinks labels are just a form of lazy thinking and can be applied to most of the population by the way) and also by a psychiatrist who suggested that I had what he would generally describe as generally some form of 'personality' syndromes, although he was reluctant to label it as I think the practice here views labels as somewhat arbitrary and possibly counter-productive and unreliable - which I agree with to some extent (the experiment where psychiatrists 'presented' themselves as patients to mental hospitals and all got 'diagnosed' and labelled with a disorder was an enlightening one). None-the-less I think there is some value in some of this and to be honest I quite prepared to try to work with things that work for me - although I'm also prone to thinking that we may be just what we are and that 'fixing' ourselves is a bit of a waste of time and a distraction. Anyway.. I was going through a particularly bad depression at the time and the psych also diagnosed 'dysthymia
' - i.e. long term moderate depression.
Lifewise, I'm in a 2 year relationship with a great woman, no kids, I have a responsible, exciting and quite stressful job which involves me travelling globally which is great; I have some (a few) great friends but I tend to be slightly avoidant sometimes and can hide away from the world a bit and avoid social situations when I'm feeling down - although I an also be on really top entertaining form. Probably the most troubling things to me are a sense of being cold to people close to me and careless, very interested in my own needs but blind to theirs (I dont mean sexually, but emotionally); and also being quite obsessed with my 'place in things' at work - needing praise, recognition, etc all the time yet feeling threatened, rage at being 'challenged' etc all the time too (narcissist 'feed' etc). I must say if I check out the narcisssist diagnostic list I hit many of the attributes but I'm not totally indifferent to others by any means but do end to relate to people based on my needs; I'm also not totally unaware of my faults - in fact I often 'crash' and become highly self-critical.
I'd say I'm living with all of this but also feel a bit dead, and permanently depressed underneath, despite ssri's, years of therapy etc.
I've always been a bit sexuall ambivalent also - been attracted to good-looking young men which complicates things although not unfaithful.
My fear is that I get colder with time and stop caring for the person I am with - I'm often pretty oblivious to her needs and its endangering our relationship; and I only wake up when she talks about leaving and then i often feel frightened. It's all a bit predictable I know, but I feel a bit stuck and also a bit cowardly in some ways - depending on people but not seeming to have anything emotionally to give back. My emotional numbness
really confuses me to be honest - I wouldnt choose to be like this but I'm also a bit tired of apologising for myself......oh blimey!!!