People with Schizoid Personality Disorder are typically detached from social relationships for long periods of time. They have difficulty expressing their emotions, have a minimal desire for intimacy, and will avoid close relationships with others at all costs. Albert Einstein and Bill Gates are two well-known individuals who had Schizoid Personality Disorder.
The Common Symptoms
- Neither desires nor enjoys close relationships, including being part of a family
- Almost always chooses solitary activities
- Has little, if any, interest in having sexual experiences with another person
- Takes pleasure in few, if any, activities
- Lacks close friends or confidants other than first-degree relatives
- Appears indifferent to the praise or criticism of others
- Shows emotional coldness, detachment, or flattened affect (emotion)
What causes Schizoid Personality Disorder is unknown, however genetic and environmental factors, specifically in early childhood could possibly play a part in the development of the disorder.
If a person has a parent or another close relative who has schizophrenia or another similar mental illness, they may be at a greater risk of developing schizoid personality disorder.
When a parent repeatedly ignores the emotional needs of a child who is sensitive, they run the risk of causing long-term damage to that child’s social and emotional development, which can lead to the development of schizoid personality disorder later on.
If a person exhibits behavioral patterns and symptoms of this personality disorder, a doctor will do an evaluation. This includes getting their medical history and possibly a physical exam.
Unfortunately, lab tests that can be done to diagnose any type of personality disorders, a number of different diagnostic tests can be done to eliminate physical illness as the cause of symptoms.
At the end of the evaluation, if a doctor finds no signs of physical reasons, he or she may refer the patient to a psychiatrist or a psychologist, who are specifically trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses. The two are able to use specially designed interview and assessment tools that will help in diagnosing a personality disorder.
It’s not uncommon for those with this personality disorder to not seek treatment. Their thoughts and and behavioral patterns typically do not cause them any type of distress.
However, when a person does seek help, it is through a form of counseling called psychotherapy. Their treatment will mainly focus on increasing coping skills, improving their social interactions, self-esteem, and communication.
Trust is a very important component of therapy, which can make treatment extremely challenging for a therapist simply because people with schizoid personality disorder find it very difficult to form relationships with others.
As for medication, it is generally not used to treat the disorder itself. Medications may be prescribed if the person also suffers from something like depression.
The Possible Complications
People with this disorder will rarely become violent with others because they prefer to not interact with people at all. But the main complication of schizoid personality disorder is the lack of social interaction.
The Patients’ Outlook
Even though they have behaviors that might seem odd to others, people with schizoid personality disorder are generally able to function in everyday life. However, it’s not likely that they will form meaningful relationships or have families of their own. Studies show that some may experience social, financial and work disability.
You’re going to be okay!
Having schizoid personality disorder isn’t a lifelong death sentence. You can make an effort to improve your current situation. As you grow and get older, things will become harder. Start making some of those necessary changes now. Everyone has challenges throughout life, look at this as a unique one. It will allow you to learn things about yourself. Do your best to push yourself to try new things and live your life to the fullest!
Featured photo credit: Robert and Talbot Trudeau via flickr.com