Understanding schizoid personality disorder

Understanding schizoid personality disorder

September 20, 2019

Understanding schizoid personality disorder

Mental Health

For most people, being social and engaging with others is a daily activity that one looks forward to. However, for some, such interactions are undesirable and usually sidestepped whenever possible. Such a person may be suffering from schizoid personality disorder, in which they may disengage from relationships with others. Instead, the person will often prefer solitude and being alone.

Schizoid personality disorder is not a very common condition and people struggling with this disorder tend to stay away from social activities and interacting with others. In addition, they may also have a very limited range of emotional expression. A person dealing with this disorder usually appears to be distant and dismissive of others and it is possible that they may be lacking the desire or skills to nurture close personal relationships.

Symptoms of schizoid personality disorder

People with this disorder face extreme difficulty in expressing anger even when they are directly provoked. Other symptoms of such a disorder include:

  • Those with this disorder often tend to lead a simple life without many friendships or relationships. Because of this, the person hardly feels to need to get married or in a serious companionship. In a work environment, the employee may thrive in situations where they work independently. Working may come easily if it is related to more abstract or mechanical concepts. However, interactions with others in a work environment may often be strained. The sufferer may not seem to have many set goals in their life and will respond improperly in certain circumstances.
  • An individual with schizoid personality disorder may find very few activities enjoyable. They often do not feel a need to connect with immediate or extended family. Positive or negative feedback from others does not seem to have an effect on them in terms of response. Their demeanor may be non-emotive much of the time. Depression and anxiety are more likely to occur concurrently with the disorder.
  • Though schizoid personality disorder is classified as a schizophrenic disorder, it differs from schizophrenia in certain ways. For instance, hallucinations or paranoia are not likely to occur. Those with such symptoms usually express logical verbal responses, though they may have a monotonic voice. Such people are often less likely to use facial expressions, such as a smile, when responding to someone. To others, these people may appear as being self-absorbed due to their introvert nature. Though the cause is unknown, risk factors that may increase the likelihood of developing this disorder include a disruptive and/or traumatic childhood and genetic inheritance.
  • Those with this condition may often daydream or fantasize about their lives in ways that do not match reality. Further, such people are more likely to develop friendships with animals rather than people. Individuals with this disorder are often diagnosed by early adulthood, though there are no laboratory or blood tests that may be used to draw such conclusions. Rather than making friends and socializing, they may stick to rigid routines that they insist on following on a daily basis. When stress arises, the sufferer may be prone to brief psychotic episodes. The disorder occurs more frequently in males than females.

Treatment for schizoid personality disorder

Due to the nature of this disorder, oftentimes, it may take specific urging from family members to seek treatment. However, if a patient has been diagnosed and is willing to receive help, there will be different options for assistance. Frequent psychotherapy sessions aimed at treating the disorder may be necessary for best results. To a layman, it may be difficult to distinguish a schizoid personality disorder from Asperger syndrome, but a certified professional would be able to make out the difference between the two.

The most effective treatment modality for this disorder is talk therapy, a form of psychotherapy. A therapist trained in studying the disorder will be able to identify the boundaries the patient has created for themselves. They would understand how challenging it may be for the schizoid personality disorder patient to open up to others. Such a professional will know how to move forward without the patient feeling excessively pressurized.

Eventually, group therapy may be a goal for the patient, allowing them the opportunity to communicate with others who are seeking similar treatment. With time, this form of therapy can help reduce agitation about social situations. A selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) may be prescribed if the patient also suffers from depression or anxiety. Antipsychotics may also be helpful when it comes to symptoms such as lack of sociability or empathy.

There is also the option of self-help if the patient feels up to it. This may come in for therapy later once they feel more comfortable in social settings. Examples of self-help include joining a club or seeking employment where greater interaction is required. This may follow short-term treatment, as it may be difficult for the person to make long-term commitments. Though it is not common for the client to develop an empathetic connection with a therapist, treatment will nonetheless be focused on appropriate solutions. Hopefully, those with this disorder can learn to find means of making their life more manageable by gaining greater control over their symptoms.

Seeking timely treatment

Diagnosis of this disorder takes time. Not many are detected with signs of this disorder till they reach adulthood. For those whose symptoms are manageable, prolonged psychotherapy under a trained mental health professional is recommended. Medications, coupled with various therapies, are prescribed for people complaining of exhaustion or debilitating symptoms.

If you or a loved one is battling mental health disorders and is looking for a licensed mental health treatment center, get in touch with Invictus Health Group. Call our 24/7 helpline 866-548-0190 and speak to a member of our team. You can also chat online to a representative for more information on mental health services.

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