A Schizoid personality disorder is an uncommon mental condition of social withdrawal. The patient displays signs of being cold and unfriendly. People with this condition have a limited capacity to express, experience or love. They consistently shy away from interacting with others and avoid all forms of social activities.
- Social withdrawal, no close relationships even within a family, no friends and confidants
- Emotionally cold and socially detached
- Solitary activities, working alone, loner status
- Dull, indifferent and lack of humour in social settings
- Lack of motivation and underperformance at work and school
- No interest in the opposite sex or in any sexual experience
There is no exact cause of schizoid personality disorder - except for a combination of genetic and environmental factors in early childhood which increases the risks of developing the disorder such as:
- Family history of schizoid personality disorder, schizotypal personality disorder or schizophrenia
- Any delusional disorder or anxiety disorders
- Major depression
- Experience of one parent who is cold and unresponsive to emotional needs
- Too hypersensitive and thin-skinned in the teenage years
- Victim of child abuse, neglect or any other mistreatment
Treatment and diagnosis begins when the person going through this condition or his/her family seek medical help. The doctor will ask many questions ranging from symptoms to habits to family history. To be diagnosed with this order, there are a set of criteria one must display, which pretty much sums up all the symptoms discussed and rules out other conditions with similar symptoms.
Usually, schizoid personality disorder patients tend to go their own way in terms of medication, including avoiding doctors. But professional help always impacts positively. Some of the major treatment options are -
- Medications can help cope with the symptoms of anxiety or depression though no antipsychotics are administered for dull emotions and social issues.
- Psychotherapy helps modify rigid behaviours without pushing too hard.
- Group therapy besides providing a support structure to improve social interaction and motivation, and it also helps with practice of new interpersonal skills.