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Schizoid Personality Disorder

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A person with schizoid personality disorder is said to be emotionally detached, cold and socially withdrawn. The person shows detachment from social contact, sexual intimacy or has limited emotional expressions. These people are unable to manufacture emotions and find themselves staying away from the society.

Overview of schizoid personality disorder

A person with schizoid personality disorder is often thought to be an eccentric. The person will avoid social interactions, have no personality, appear dull, humorless. He/she will seem unfazed by the happenings around them and remain aloof. This person is often called a loner as he/she will love being alone and all by themselves most of the time. This condition affects men more than women.

The affected person may feel lonely, but will not be able to process this emotion and seek help. Or in some cases, the person will enjoy being lonely and live comforted.

As the person lacks the important social skills, they are often singled out. They won’t go out on dates frequently, or have limited sexual experiences and most of the time remain single or unmarried. These people choose employment in places, where they have to work alone and have minimum social contact as much as possible.

Symptoms of Schizoid Personality Disorder

The signs and symptoms of schizoid personality disorder often consists of commonly observed traits. However, one should keep in mind every person may exhibit some of these traits at some point of their life. This does not mean a person exhibiting one or a couple of traits suffers from this eccentric personality disorder.

The signs of schizoid personality disorder begin to appear during early adulthood and in some cases during childhood. Some of the traits of a schizoid personality disorder include:

  • Avoiding social situations or activities
  • Inability to express strong feelings
  • Confusion or inability to understand normal social cues
  • Often seen doing solitary activities and jobs
  • Unmotivated or underperform at school, college or at job
  • Have very few close friends
  • Love to be independent
  • Appear emotionally cold and detached
  • Have no interest in sexual relationships
  • Apathy towards praise or criticism
  • Inability to express pleasure
  • No noticeable changes in moods or expressions

Types of Schizoid Personality Traits

There are two types of schizoid personality traits that an affected person may exhibit. The person may show signs of being a ‘covert’ or an ‘overt’. A covert may not seem schizoid on the surface. The person will be sociable, have friends, even hold on to a stable job. But inside, they lack deep feelings and remain very private. They are often known as the ‘secret schizoids’. The ‘overts’ exhibit the signs and symptoms of schizoid personality and remain emotionless, dull, boring, and are known as loners to people around them.

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Causes of Schizoid Personality Disorder

The exact cause of schizoid personality disorder is unknown. It may have certain genetic links or have environmental influences. Certain disease or abuse or neglect during childhood can trigger schizoid traits.

Diagnosis of Schizoid Personality Disorder

The doctor will conduct a complete physical examination to rule out any underlying medical health problem causing these symptoms. He/she will then refer the patient to a mental health professional for further analysis.

A complete psychiatric assessment will be conducted and the patient will be asked to complete a set of questionnaires. An interview will be conducted to understand the personal history of the patient. Based on the criteria mentioned in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the patient should exhibit 4 or more of the following characteristics:

  • Has no desire or enjoys or wants to build close relationships as well as be a part of a family
  • Loves to carry out solitary activities at all times
  • Has little or no interest in sexual experiences
  • Has very few interests or pleasure in life
  • Shows lack of close friends, other than a few close relatives
  • Indifference to praise and criticism
  • Appears cold, detaches and almost expressionless

Treatment For Schizoid Personality Disorder

Those with schizoid personality disorder can always seek treatment or else continue to live an emotionless life with lack of social interaction. However, if you feel you need to change, then professional help will be useful.

The treatment for schizoid personality disorder includes:

  • There are no specific medications for schizoid personality disorder. Medications if prescribed may be given for anxiety or depression, if you suffer or signs of them.
  • Psychotherapy is often helpful in changing one's beliefs and behaviors. It helps one to understand the amount of personal space one needs and how they can open up about their inner self.
  • Group therapy helps people with similar problems come together and interact. Thus, giving each other the needed support to open up and improve their social skills.

A person with schizoid personality disorder may freeze in a social situation. They may appear socially inept, arrogant or may across as a self-absorbed person. However, they experience no emotions or joys in simple experiences of life or have the need to make friends. The person may choose a pet as their best friend, instead of having a person as a close acquaintance. All they want is to be left alone in their own make believe world. Speaking to a mental health professional will prove beneficial in improving your people skills and live a more comfortable social life.

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Written by: healthplus24.com team

Date last updated: January 30, 2015