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The Schizoid Disorder of the Self

I threatened in my December post that I would continue my descriptions of character types, so I will delineate one more. That way, for February, I can assign a task for my readers to figure out their type – one that best describes their dominant propensities. You don’t have to exhibit every variable of a specific character, but more than not you exemplify many or most of the traits. This is a fun exercise for couples and educates you on the dynamics at play within the couple as the two types interact, creating their unique family ‘system’.

The Schizoid is most notably an isolated, self-sufficient type. His relationship situation can vary on a spectrum from having relations with family and friends to one that lacks any social contact. The Schizoid is introverted and more comfortable with solitary activities. He spends his mental time with an active fantasy life as a substitute for contact. He appears detached and unemotional about most of his personal issues and can seem cold and disinterested. Beneath this appearance, the Schizoid is sensitive and has deep longing to belong but may not appear that way on the surface. He has suffered pain in his life and therefore is frightened to move too close and get hurt again. So he may appear aloof.

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Reich’s Character Types: Phallic Character Types & the Manic Depressive Character

This post continues our discussion of Phallic Character types. In our last post, we described the Chronic Depressive Character , a phallic type distinguished by repression in the oral segment. The Manic Depressive also has an oral block, but it is the unsatisfied type. Please refer to my post on the oral segment as it discusses the oral repressed and unsatisfied types that color all the major characters.

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Reich’s Phallic Character Types & the Chronic Depressive Character

This post continues our discussion of Phallic Character Types. In my last post, we visited the Narcissistic Character who heads up the Phallic Character Types. As we discuss these types further, I will delineate various blocks that color the basic Phallic Type.

The Chronic Depressive is a Phallic Type but, due to holding-repression in the oral segment, namely the mouth and jaw, (see post on the Oral Segment) this Phallic type suffers from depression. He has all the basic features of the Phallic but, because the block is predominantly in the oral segment, his energetic movement and expression is clamped down resulting in depression. Reich stated that this diagnosis is predominantly male, though I have seen this character type in females as well.

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Reich’s Character Types: Phallic Character Types & the Narcissistic Character

 

Reich divided his types into Categories: Genital, Phallic, Anal, Oral and Ocular Types. These are correlated with developmental phases of growth, affecting the character and their biophysical/energetic progression. If an individual does not sustain the Phallic level, he or she may drop back to a Pregenital level (an earlier level of development) because those fixations or blockages dominate the picture. I will be covering the Pregential characters according to Reich and Object Relations in future posts. For the next few posts, I will be discussing Phallic Character Types, the first one being the Narcissistic Character Type.

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Reich’s Character Types: The Hysterical Character

This post continues our discussion of Wilhelm Reich’s schema of character types. As I stated in the last post, I will add further types from Object Relations Theory to complete the typology at the end of this series. I will present Reich’s types initially as he delineated them to give you a clear sense of his system and how he evolves the types out of the psycho-sexual developmental stages. I will eliminate some of the extensive elaboration and specificity within his typology so my readers don’t bog down. This post will include historic contextual markers relevant to Reich’s theoretical evolution and the development of this specific character type.

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Reich’s Character Types & The Genital Character

 

This post will begin my series on Reich’s Character Types. I will utilize additional input from Object Relations theory to amplify the content, particularly at the end of the series. Reich’s character type typology gives us a map of how developmental passages combine with nature and nurture to influence formation of our defensive structures and, over time, define our consistent way of being. This system of organizing character types is functional in that it does not pigeonhole people in a black and white way. Most people fit into a defined character type with some consistency, yet we are also all unique, therefore adding shading to an individual’s description. Reich’s character typology creates an elegant map that correlates with his schema of body armoring. This is a comprehensive and integrated approach to the mind/body: the character types organize the body structure and vice versa, affecting the entirety of the body, including the autonomic nervous system.

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