Schizoid personality disorder is one of the major types of personality disorder in which people stay away from social activities and also any type of interaction with others. Most of the time they feel lonely and they have no idea of forming personal relationships. Society views their behavior as eccentric or abnormal. The type of behavior they exhibit will seriously interfere with their family, work and relationship. They cannot form and maintain any type of serious relationship and the fact is that people with schizoid personality disorder are not aware that they have some problem. Therapy and medications may help to reduce the symptoms.
Main Features :
People with schizoid personality will have at least some of the features mentioned below:-
• Not enjoying any type of relationships including with that of family
• Prefer to be alone and choose jobs that are independent
• Have no interest in sex or pleasure
• Will not have any friends and they stay away from even their closest family members
• They are least bothered about the comments/criticisms of others
• They are emotionally cold and stay detached
Individuals with schizoid personality disorder always prefer to stay alone and indulge in solitary activities. They do not know how to respond to normal social relationships and generally they say nothing or few words. They don’t know to experience pleasure or sexual activities. They stay emotionally cold and feel unmotivated. In case they are employed they are often criticized for underperformance. They do not show any expression to praise or criticism. Very often, they hallucinate or daydream and live in complex inner life.
Exact cause of this disorder is not known. It is believed to be caused by genetic factors as well as environmental factors. The symptoms of schizoid personality disorder appear in early childhood or during adolescence. Some experts believe that bleak childhood without warmth and care may cause this disorder in children. It can be inherited if there is family history of schizophrenia or any other type of mental disorders in your family. Either your father or your mother would have been cold and unresponsive and this may affect your mind strongly. Parents or close family members having schizophrenic spectrum disorders can trigger schizoid personality disorder in you.
Risk Factors :
Having close relative or parents with schizotype personality, schizophrenia or any other mental illness, having experience of child abuse and severe neglect in childhood and mistreatment during young age are some of the factors that increases the risk of developing this disorder. Individuals with schizoid personality are likely to get addicted to alcohol, substance abuse, anxiety, depression or panic disorder.
Your doctor will look for the above symptoms after collecting the entire medical history and family history. He might refer your case to psychiatrist who will conduct in-depth interview to diagnose the disorder. He would administer several diagnostic tools like assessment tests for detecting your personality. The psychiatrist will check if the symptoms and behavior coincides with the characteristics mentioned in the statistical manual of mental disorders.
Most of the time, schizoid personality disorder goes un-recognized. People will not accept they have some problems which need to be treated. In case they come for treatment they will not open up even with doctors or psychiatrists. Very often, they are not sure whether they want to change. Medications are given for triggering pleasure factors in the system. Drugs like bupropion, risperidone or olanzapine are prescribed to resolve flattened emotions and avoidance from society.
With repeated psychotherapy your counselor will be able to explore the inner-self in you bringing out the hidden values. Gradually your psychologist will change the inner beliefs and behaviors that are viewed as problems in the society.
During cognitive behavior therapy your psychologist will help you to develop social skills by growing interpersonal cues. You will be taught how to react in appropriate situations and facing new challenges in life. In the course of time, you will feel less anxious while moving with others in the society. Group therapy is highly effective in developing interpersonal skills. Individuals with schizoid personality disorder are never violent and always prefer to be aloof. It is possible for them to get a job and function normally in daily life, but they have problems in forming any sort of relationships.