Mental health conditions are becoming more well known due to increased publicity, better understanding and better treatments. One of the conditions that is not very well understood or recognized is Schizoid Personality Disorder. People see the “schiz” part and automatically assume it is something to do with Schizophrenia, which is not the case. The only thing that resembles schizophrenia is the negative symptoms, such as apathy, loss of appetite but people with schizoid personality disorder do not have positive symptoms – which are hallucinations and/or delusions. Although it can be that Schizoid Personality Disorder is the pre-phrase to Schizophrenia.
Schizoid Personality Disorder
People with schizoid personality disorder isolate themselves from other people, and are often seen as loners. They have difficulty in forming relationships and they generally don’t like to spend time with other people.
Signs And Symptoms Of Schizoid Personality Disorder
Before we go any further perhaps it would be a good idea to go through the signs and symptoms, so you can gain a better understanding of the condition, because it can be difficult to grasp what it is about.
- The person is seen as dull and boring.
- They live in a strict, self controlling world.
- Have a rich fantasy world – often to escape the real one.
- See the world as big and scary.
- They will value their independence and have few if any close relationships.
- The person will prefer to be a follower rather than lead anyone.
- Lack any desire for sexual relationships – in fact many stay celibate.
- They do not feel any pleasure.
- Seem emotionally cold to other people.
- Will nearly always choose to do solitary activities rather than those in groups.
- The person will find it difficult in social situations and can feel confused as to how to react to social cues.
- Motivation will be extremely difficult to gather.
- The person may find showing anger and other emotions hard, and thus they turn inward.
The complications of schizoid personality disorder are at an increased risk of the following: depression, anxiety, drug abuse, schizophrenia, other personality disorders and confidence issues.
Causes Of Schizoid Personality Disorder
It is very difficult to determine what exactly causes schizoid personality disorder, because our personalities have been formed by many different things. It is thought that environmental or genetic causes could be linked to the disorder, particularly in early childhood.
One thing that has been mentioned is that people with schizoid personality disorder may have had a parent that was cold and unaware of the child’s emotional needs. Or, the person was thin-skinned and sensitive in childhood, and this was met with annoyance or anger – meaning that when the child expressed emotion or feeling, they were ignored.
Treatment For Schizoid Personality Disorder
The sad thing about schizoid personality disorder is that the person with it is self-contented, and/ or unwilling to seek help; it can be difficult to help or treat the person. This means that usually they do not get the treatment they deserve, mainly because they cannot bare to have that emotional closeness, even a professional relationship with a doctor.
There is hope though, that if the therapist is experienced in dealing with people with these kind of disorders and in particular schizoid personality disorder, then there is a chance that eventually a relationship may form. But this really does depend on the person and the therapist.
The kind of help that may be available is the following:
Medication - Despite there not being any specific drugs for this disorder, a doctor may prescribe a medication for related disorders, such as depression. Some of the symptoms may be relieved by medications that help with social anxiety and flattened emotions.
Psychotherapy - This involves developing a trusting relationship with a therapist to explore the inner world and go through past issues.
Schizoid personality disorder is clearly a complex illness and hopefully there will be more awareness raised about it to help the people that suffer from it.