Schizoid Personality

1 What is Schizoid Personality Disorder?

An uncommon condition in which people avoid social activities and are always shy away from interaction with others is called schizoid personality disorder. It is more common in females.

You may lack the desire or skill to have close personal relationships and they may see you as a loner if you have schizoid personality disorder.

You may look like you do not care about what is going on around you or people may find you humorless or dull because you don’t show your emotions.

You might feel lonely and aloof even if you do not acknowledge it or you feel comfortable alone.

There is no known cause of this disorder. Medication and therapy can help.

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2 Symptoms

Symptoms of schizoid personality disorder vary greatly and depend on each unique case. Symptoms include:

  • be alone and chose solitary activities;
  • feel little when it comes to sexual relationships;
  • you do not know how to respond to normal social cues and only have little to say;
  • independent and only have a few close friends;
  • people might look at you as dull, emotionally cold or indifferent;
  • feel unmotivated and will not fully perform at school or work;
  • and feel unable to experience pleasure.

This disorder begins at early adulthood but some may notice it during childhood. You may not do well in school or job but sometimes if you work alone you can succeed. You may also feel anxious towards people or will not know how to form friendships.

Schizoid personality disorder is part of schizophrenic spectrum of disorders that includes schizophrenia and schizotypal personality disorder. They all have similar symptoms such as lack of emotional expression and do not want to connect to anyone.

People with schizoid personality disorder:

  • in touch with reality and does not have hallucinations and paranoia;
  • they make sense when they speak.

There are classes of personality disorders to fully understand them.

  • Class A – schizoid personality disorder and schizotypal and paranoid personality disorder – eccentric or odd behaviors.
  • Class B – emotional and dramatic behaviors.
  • Class C – fearful and anxious behaviors. People who consult doctors about schizoid disorder are those have problems such as depression.

If you know someone who has this and ask for your help, accompany him/her to a primary care physician to diagnose and treat him/her.

3 Causes

There is no known cause of schizoid personality disorder though they suspect that a combination of environmental and genetic factors may cause this especially in early childhood.

4 Making a Diagnosis

You might want to visit your physician and he will recommend you to a psychiatrist for schizoid personality disorder diagnosis.

Before going to the clinic write down the symptoms you are experiencing and traumatic events in your life or major stresses. You can also write down any physical or mental conditions including your family and supplements or any medications that you are taking. Bring a family member or a friend to support you.

Some of the questions that you can ask include:

  • What is the cause of my symptoms?
  • What are other possible causes?
  • Is this temporary or long term?
  • What are the treatments that I need?
  • How could these treatments help me?
  • Do you recommend any medications?
  • What are the possible side effects?
  • What websites do you recommend so I can do some research?

Your doctor will also ask some questions such as:

  • What are the symptoms that you are experiencing?
  • How much do these bother you?
  • Does it get worse in certain situations?
  • How did you handle them?
  • How would you describe yourself?
  • Do you have close friends or family?
  • How and who do you confide?
  • What do you want to do in your free time?
  • Do you want to do things on your own?
  • Have you ever thought of harming yourself?
  • Do you drink alcohol or use drugs?
  • Does anyone in your family have mental illness?

An in-depth interview with your doctor is usually the diagnostic procedure. You will talk about your personal and mental history and he will conduct a physical exam.

You must meet the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to be diagnosed with schizoid personality disorder that was published by the American Psychiatric Association.

There are four or more characteristics of this disorder such as:

  • you almost always choose solitary activities;
  • you take pleasure in few activities;
  • you neither desire nor enjoy close relationships including being part of a family;
  • you have little interest in sexual experiences;
  • you don’t seem to care about criticism or praise;
  • you do not have enough close friends;
  • you are emotionally cold, unexpressive or detached.

Doctors need to rule out conditions with similar symptoms before being diagnosed with schizoid personality disorder.

5 Treatment

In some cases, people with schizoid personality disorder will only go under treatment once a close family member or friend will urged you.

You may go on your own way and avoid others even doctors if you have schizoid personality disorder.

Some of the treatments include:

  • Medications – certain drugs can help with symptoms even if there is no specific drug to treat this disorder. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) for depression or anxiety and antipsychotics for social problems and flattened emotions;
  • Psychotherapy or talk therapy – this can help change your behavior and beliefs that is bothering you. A therapist will understand your need for personal space and how hard for you to open up about your feelings;
  • Group therapy – here you can interact with others who are also practicing interpersonal skills like you, this can also increase your social motivation.

With a skilled therapist who have experience in this kind of disorder and with proper treatment, you will have relevant progress and will improve your quality of life.

6 Prevention

Since schizoid personality disorder can be a combination of genetic and environmental factors, the only way to prevent this is nurture, love and support to people who have this disorder.

7 Alternative and Homeopathic Remedies

One of the homeopathic remedy for schizoid personality disorder is Human Growth Hormone or HGH.

This medication should be taken with professional advice.

8 Lifestyle and Coping

Lifestyle modifications are necessary in order to cope with schizoid personality disorder.

If you know anyone who has this disorder, understand and support him. He may want your support and love even if he does not show it.

If you are the one who have this disorder, do things one at a time, you might want to consult a psychiatrist first before going to a therapy.

Ask for support from your love ones. 

9 Risks and Complications

Some of the factors that you are at risk of having schizoid personality disorder include:

  • family history, having a parent or anyone in your family who have schizoid personality disorder, schizophrenia and schizotypal personality disorder;
  • having a parent who was unresponsive and cold to emotional needs;
  • suffering neglect, child abuse or other mistreatment;
  • and being hypersensitive.

People who have this disorder are at risk of:

  • anxiety disorders;
  • major depression and developing schizotypal personality disorder,
  • schizophrenia or another delusional disorder.