Definition

What is schizoid personality disorder?

Schizoid personality disorder is one of a group of conditions called “Cluster ‘A’ ” or eccentric personality disorders. People with these disorders often appear odd or peculiar. People with schizoid personality disorder also tend to be distant, detached, and indifferent to social relationships. They generally are loners who prefer solitary activities and rarely express strong emotion. Although their names sound alike and they might have some similar symptoms, schizoid personality disorder is not the same thing as schizophrenia. Many people with schizoid personality disorder are able to function fairly well, although they tend to choose jobs that allow them to work alone, such as night security officers, library, or lab workers.

How common is schizoid personality disorder?

Schizoid personality disorder affects men more often than women, and is more common in people who have close relatives with schizophrenia. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Symptoms

What are the symptoms of schizoid personality disorder?

The common symptoms of schizoid personality disorder are:

  • Prefer being alone and choose to do activities alone
  • Don’t want or enjoy close relationships
  • Feel little if any desire for sexual relationships
  • Feel like you can’t experience pleasure
  • Have difficulty expressing emotions and reacting appropriately to situations
  • May seem humorless, indifferent or emotionally cold to others
  • May appear to lack motivation and goals
  • Don’t react to praise or critical remarks from others

Schizoid personality disorder usually begins by early adulthood, though some features may be noticeable during childhood. These features may cause you to have trouble functioning well in school, a job, socially or in other areas of life. However, you may do reasonably well in your job if you mostly work alone.

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.

Causes

What causes schizoid personality disorder?

Personality is the combination of thoughts, emotions and behaviors that makes you unique. It’s the way you view, understand and relate to the outside world, as well as how you see yourself. Personality forms during childhood, shaped through an interaction of inherited tendencies and environmental factors.

In normal development, children learn over time to accurately interpret social cues and respond appropriately. What causes the development of schizoid personality disorder is unknown, although a combination of genetic and environmental factors, particularly in early childhood, may play a role in developing the disorder.

Risk factors

What increases my risk for schizoid personality disorder?

There are many risk factors for schizoid personality disorder, such as:

  • Having a parent or other relative who has schizoid personality disorder, schizotypal personality disorder or schizophrenia
  • Having a parent who was cold, neglectful or unresponsive to emotional needs

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is schizoid personality disorder diagnosed?

If symptoms of this personality disorder are present, the doctor will begin an evaluation by performing a complete medical history and possible physical exam. Although there are no lab tests to specifically diagnose personality disorders, the doctor might use various diagnostic tests to rule out physical illness as the cause of the symptoms.

If the doctor finds no physical reason for the symptoms, he or she might refer the person to a psychiatrist or psychologist, health care professionals who are specially trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses. Psychiatrists and psychologists use specially designed interview and assessment tools to evaluate a person for a personality disorder.

How is schizoid personality disorder treated?

People with this personality disorder rarely seek treatment, because their thoughts and behavior generally do not cause them distress. When treatment is sought, psychotherapy — a form of counseling — is the form of treatment most often used. Treatment likely will focus on increasing general coping skills, as well as on improving social interaction, communication, and self-esteem. Because trust is an important component of therapy, treatment can be challenging for the therapist, because people with schizoid personality disorder have difficulty forming relationships with others. Social skills training also can be an important component of treatment.

Medication is generally not used to treat schizoid personality disorder itself. Drugs might, however, be prescribed if the person also suffers from an associated psychological problem, such as depression.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage schizoid personality disorder?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with schizoid personality disorder:

Living with schizoid personality disorder is challenging for both the person affected by the condition and those close to him. A person with schizoid personality disorder typically isolates himself from other people and isn’t emotionally responsive. Often, his only relationships are with immediate family members. While living with schizoid personality disorder poses many challenges, schizoid personality disorder therapy may help both the patient–and his loved ones–cope with the condition.

Family members, friends or acquaintances of someone with schizoid personality disorder may describe the person as cold and distant, as this condition often causes difficulty in connecting with others and a preference of being alone.

Reading the emotions of someone with schizoid personality disorder can be challenging. They may appear to get little or no pleasure in most activities and usually don’t respond to compliments or criticism. This lack of emotional response is one of the telltale signs of schizoid personality disorder.

People with schizoid personality disorder tend to not have close friends or relationships. They may be dependent on immediate family members. Occasionally, people with this disorder do get married. Their spouses, however, will likely have to deal with a lack of intimacy and sexual activity. Couples therapy can be helpful in overcoming some of these issues.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: August 4, 2017 | Last Modified: August 4, 2017

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