For most people, being social and engaging with others is a daily activity that is looked forward to. However, for a smaller group, such interaction is undesirable and may be sidestepped when possible. Those who avoid social interaction to this degree may be dealing with schizoid personality disorder, which is often be marked by an individual disengaging from relationships with others and prefering solitude.
Symptoms and diagnosis of schizoid personality disorder
Those with schizoid personality disorder will often lead a simple life without many friendships or dating relationships. People with this disorder often do not feel a need for connection to immediate or extended family.
Interactions with others in a work environment may often be strained. In a work environment, employees with this disorder may thrive in situations where they work independently or when they are working with more abstract or mechanical concepts.
The individual may not seem to have many set goals in their life or respond properly to certain circumstances. , they may have few activities that they find enjoyable.
Positive or negative feedback from others does not seem to warrant a response. Feelings of anger at another may be especially difficult to express articulately. Their demeanor may be non-emotive much of the time. Depression and anxiety are more likely to occur concurrently with the disorder.
Those with this condition may also often daydream or fantasize about their lives in ways that do not match reality. They may instead be more likely to develop intimate relationships with animals.
One is often diagnosed by early adulthood, though there are no laboratory tests or blood tests that may be used to draw such conclusions. A diagnosis is common at this time because it often becomes clear that the individual is not developing the types of relationships that many others their age may be. Instead, he or she may stick to rigid routines daily that they insist on following. When stress arises, the sufferer may be prone to a brief psychotic episode.
Differentiating between schizophrenia and schizoid personality 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 present in those with schizoid personality disorder. Also, the speech and conversation of those with schizoid personality disorder seems to make logical sense, though they may have a monotone voice and are less likely to use facial expressions, such as smiling, when responding to someone.
Though the cause for schizoid personality disorder is unknown, risk factors that may increase the likelihood of this disorder include childhood environment and genetic traits. Child abuse or neglect may be one cause.
Oftentimes, since people with schizoid personality disorder tend to be so isolated, it may take repeated urging from another to receive treatment. When a patient has been diagnosed and is willing to obtain help though, there will be different options for assistance.
One treatment method is different forms of psychotherapy which may be necessary several times a week. A therapist who is trained in a specific disorder will be aware of the boundaries that such a person has and how challenging it may be for them to open up to others. A specialized clinician will know how to move forward without the patient feeling excessively pressured.
Group therapy may eventually be a goal for the client, giving them an opportunity to communicate with others who are seeking similar treatment. Over time, this can help reduce agitation about social situations.
If necessary, medication may be an option for treatment as well. A selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) may be prescribed if the patient also suffers from depression or anxiety. Antipsychotics may help when dealing with symptoms such as lack of sociability or emotion.
Sovereign Health Group provides information on and treatment for those struggling with addiction, mental illness and co-occurring conditions. We utilize a vast spectrum of therapies to help one cope, heal and develop a proactive approach to life to help individuals overcome the issues these problems. To learn more about schizoid personality disorder or schizophrenia and how to get help you can call us at 866-754-3385 to speak with a member of our team.
Written by Ryan McMaster, Sovereign Health Group writer