Schizoid Personality Disorder Symptoms And How It’s Treated
By Nadia Khan
Updated December 07, 2018
Reviewer Emily Genever
Those who have schizoid personality disorder tend to have no idea that there is anything wrong with them. That doesn't mean their disorder doesn't interfere with their life, however. In fact, the main component of the disorder is that the individual suffering from it has very little emotion and a lot of difficulty interacting with others in professional and social ways. This can result in difficulty that they may not even realize because they have no interest in those kinds of relationships. But there's a whole lot more to the disorder as well.
What is Schizoid Personality Disorder?
When it comes to schizoid personality disorder, however, it's important to not get caught up in the similarity between the word and some of the common connotations that go along with it. The truth is, this personality disorder is characterized by a lack of emotion and a lack of interaction, which can be contrary to what many of us think of when it comes to a personality disorder. Whereas we tend to think of disorders like bipolar disorder where the manic phases represent extreme emotion or even depression lows here represent extreme emotions as well, those with schizoid personality disorder may display little to no emotion.
Unlike those with depression however, who want to join in but don't know how, those with schizoid personality disorder actually have a complete indifference to the types of social relationships that many of us take for granted, from professional to personal. They have little interest in forming friendships or even acquaintanceships and prefer to be left alone to their own devices instead. When they are brought into conversations or situations where they need to interact, they have little to no emotion about those situations.
While this may seem like no big deal, as the individual with the disorder sees no problem with it, the lack of social interaction and relationships can actually cause problems for them in their life. This can interfere with their ability to have any type of healthy relationships or can make work more difficult for them. They tend to be loners, after all, and prefer to work and do all other things entirely by themselves or with animals rather than other people.
Signs and Symptoms of Schizoid Personality Disorder
So how do you know if someone in your life, or even you, actually has this disorder? While any disorder is going to be slightly different from one person to the next, there are a number of similarities between those who do have this disorder, making it easier to identify. The important point is that any personality disorder is characterized by continued occurrence of these symptoms rather than sporadic. Everyone enjoys being alone once in a while, but someone with schizoid personality disorder does nothing else, for example. If the symptoms have persisted extensively, then it may be time to speak with a healthcare professional to find out more.
- Finds little pleasure in activities
- Has no interest or enjoyment in relationships
- Does not appear to enjoy even familial relationships
- Seems detached from their surroundings or aloof to those around them
- Avoids social situations wherever possible
- Avoids any situation that requires interaction with others
- Prefers solitary activities
- Has little to no interest in sexual interaction
- Shows little attention or care to both praise and criticism
- Seems detached, cold or indifferent to situations where emotion is likely
- Mood seems to have very little difference from one day to the next
- Shows relationships only with immediate relatives
Unlike with many other mental disorders, those who have schizoid personality disorder do not have a break from reality. They understand the world that they live in and their place in it. They have neither an inflated or deflated ego that keeps them from forming relationships. Instead, they simply feel no interest in these things. Where many of us reach out to others to form relationships as a way to spend time and have fun, these individuals are more likely to enjoy time spent by themselves than that spent with other people.
Treatment for Schizoid Personality Disorder
So what happens when the treatment starts for schizoid personality disorder? Well, this disorder is very similar to treatment for other types of mental health disorders. Medication and therapy are often the most prevalent methods of dealing with the disorder itself and any side effects that may go along with it. Unfortunately, many people who have this disorder never seek out treatment because they do not experience the loneliness or envy that typically goes along with complete isolation. Instead, they feel completely comfortable with it and this keeps them from seeking any changes to their live to resolve it.
Medication can be used if an individual has anxiety or depression, though these are not common side effects for someone who is suffering from this disorder. Instead, those who have these types of side effects are generally facing a slightly different personality disorder. Still, if side effects persist or occur during treatment it is possible for medication to be prescribed as a short term solution to those side effects. Generally, treatment with therapy or even support groups will be a better method of caring for someone who does display the symptoms of this disorder.
Support groups can help an individual with this disorder because they introduce conversation and compatibility in different ways. A non-intrusive style of support group is essential because this is going to help the individual to become more comfortable being around other people without feeling as though they are being invaded or their wants and needs taken over. It is important to introduce new people somewhat slowly and introduce social situations of any kind slowly as well, as these can be overwhelming to someone who is not comfortable in these situations.
One-on-one therapy can often be difficult for someone with this disorder because it requires interaction with the other person. For more immediate concerns or short term problems this can be successful but the support groups seem to work more commonly. Still, individual therapy sessions can help the individual by presenting a single relationship to build at a time and to work towards before introducing new people or a more intense or even dedicated setting. Instead of attempting to make friends, the individual is in a relaxed environment where they can speak with a professional without any kind of fear or anxiety which may develop or arise at any point during the treatment process.
What a Diagnosis Means for You
So what happens if you are diagnosed with schizoid personality disorder? Well, the first thing you'll want to do is talk with your health care professional and find out more about the disorder itself. Chances are you've noticed that you feel more comfortable alone and that you find little to no interest in being around other people. You may not have thought there was anything wrong with this, however. Forming friendships and more permanent relationships can be beneficial to your personal life however and even being able to form work friendships and relationships can be beneficial to your professional life.
Therapy will generally be a good idea as well and will help you learn more about developing relationships that are healthy and successful. Working on emotional responses and interactions is important as well and through a type of group therapy, all of these things can be worked on and introduced slowly. You will be able to gradually become more comfortable with the other people in the group and through that method, will be able to continue developing more successful relationships even outside the group as the therapy continues.
No matter what you may think, schizoid personality disorder can definitely be treated and though it cannot be completely cured, you will be able to develop more successful interactions and a better way of working with other people. This can lead to dramatic improvements in your professional and personal life as well as in your family life. By building relationships you will be able to improve your quality of life greatly. The first thing, however, is finding a professional that can help you on your path to success. BetterHelp is one way that you can get the assistance you need and start on your treatment path more quickly.
BetterHelp offers in home therapy where you can log on to the website and find a therapist that you are most comfortable with. Then you'll be able to interact with them and carry on therapy sessions right in your own home. This can increase your own comfort and it can make treatment a whole lot easier, especially for someone working through schizoid personality disorder. The important thing is making sure that you are comfortable every step of the way and that you continue to grow and develop throughout the therapy process. Before you know it you'll have the skills you need to create and build relationships and enjoy them.