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Dr. Steve
Dr. Steve, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 370
Experience:  19 years conducting therapy; book author; newspaper columnist; former co-host of radio show
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I've been diagnosed with a marked schizoid personality

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I've been diagnosed with a marked schizoid personality disorder (in my youth) and also suffered from recurrent depression in the past.
I've been taking medication and been well for years and years (I take risperidone and seroxat), but there is one giant problem that keeps nagging me- I've never had a girlfriend. Always wanted one, had lots of female friends, but never a proper girlfriend. I realise it's because I'm quiet, shy , don't talk much type of guy, but I do try to be friendly. I'm not exactly good looking, but not too bad looking. As long as the girl doesn't scream or faint when I ask her out, I can take rejection. I don't ask many girls out-I just don't seem to meet the right type for me.
Please can you offer some advice on how to find a compatible female?


Great question, and congrats for hanging in there. Finding a compatible partner is indeed one of life's challenges. But you are hampered not only by your diagnosis (depression included), but also by the side-effects of your medication. And by the way, I would at least like to address one thing you said that caught my ear: You said that you had not yet met the right person... I would beg to differ! My guess is that you have met many, many women - some of whom would be a good match, many of whom would not. Therefore, the problem may be more in your selection process rather than availability of compatible women. Here are a few suggestions:

(1) Continue to try on the internet. The schizoid issues are still lurking behind the scenes (medication notwithstanding), so social skills are not your strong suit. Based upon your written description above, you are a good writer and seem to express yourself well via the written word. Combine that with you being good looking, and you will be able to pull off "charming" online. BUT! set the bar at a level that is obtainable for you... have a friend or professional in your life help you to set your "number" (i.e., on a 1 to 10 scale, how desirable are you?). Then, go after women who are within a point or two of your range.

(2) When you try to meet women in public, tell yourself to relax. The meds and the schizoid issues will dampen your emotional range, and if the depression bleeds at all into anxiety, you may come across as more "creepy" than "friendly." And I want you to seem more friendly, so do this: Take a deep breath and just make eye contact (and hey, stay within your "range," as I mentioned above)... Let HER make the first nod, smile, or conversation. That way, you will be able to tell right away who may be interested versus who may not be. Work on your smile - emphasize your dimples, teeth, twinkle in your eye... whatever you have going for you. Use these before you talk because talking may work against you rather than for you initially.

(3) And finally, watch movies - or go to the mall and watch live - guys who seem to work well with women. Imitate the way they walk, their facial expressions, their words... again, do what you can to smooth the edges of your interactive style. Much of therapy for schizoids involves social skills training, but being 41 already, you can probably do a lot of the training on your own by merely taking on the persona of the guys who seem to be really good at approaching women.

Best of luck to you! I would bet that your depression abates once you find yourself in a relationship. You are at a disadvantage right now, but hang in there! If you are satisfied with the answer, please hit "Accept." That is the only way I can receive credit for my answer. Thanks-

Dr. Steve

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