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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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When i was a teenager i was diagnosed with schizoid-type

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When i was a teenager i was diagnosed with schizoid-type borderline personality disorder. I always thought that diagnosis was incorrect because i am not over-emotional or "needy" in any way. In fact most people, when asked, describe me as "laid back". A couple of years ago i did the online Aspergers quiz and scored 42, which is pretty high. I am currently being treated for depression caused by loss of a relationship. I have only had one session so far. The therapist said i display a lot of autistic traits and behaviours but also said he doesn't yet know me well enough to feel comfortable in positing a diagnosis of Aspergers. Is BPD, especially the schizoid type, often misdiagnosed instead of one of the autism spectrum disorders?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.

Hi! I believe I can be of help with this issue.

This is a fascinating question you ask. I have to begin, though, by saying that Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and Schizoid Personality Disorder (SPD) are not compatible diagnoses. There is no such "type" in BPD as schizoid type.Whoever diagnosed this was mistaken. I've worked in therapy with personality disorders as well as Asperger Syndrome (AS)

In fact, BPD and SPD are on separate areas of the classic continuum of personality types. BPD is characterized by emotional overwhelm. Meaning the person is flooded with emotion. SPD is characterized by emotional flatness--coldness and indifference. BPD is characterized by relationship intensity and giving of great importance to relationships. SPD is the opposite: no interest in relationships. BPD is characterized by sexual acting out. SPD is characterized by lack of interest in sex with a partner. See what I mean?

Now this is where your question gets really fascinating:

Asperger Syndrome (AS) is not a personality disorder; it's a developmental disorder. That's a fine line for non-professionals. It has some similar features to SPD and is never (in my experience) misdiagnosed as BPD!

The emotional flatness and lack of interest in relationships that characterize SPD can look like AS. With AS, the person doesn't have a lack of interest, but a lack of ability. Again, this is hard to explain in other than professional terms.

So, the bot***** *****ne is that SPD and AS could be misdiagnosed one for the other.

Okay, I wish you the very best!

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