Schizoid personality disorder is a type of personality disorder in which the person avoids social interactions and relationships with other people, and close relationships in particular. In addition, a person with this disorder has a much more limited range of expressed emotion in comparison to a neurotypical person.
The causes of this disorder are not well understood; however it is thought that both genetic and environmental causes play a role. Some experts consider schizoid personality disorder to be a form of mild schizophrenia, because both disorders affect a person’s ability and desire to form relationships, and their ability to express emotion. Even so the two are very distinct disorders, in particular because schizophrenia causes altered perception and disconnection from reality, whereas schizoid personality disorder does not.
Schizoid Personality Disorder Treatment
There are two main facets of schizoid personality disorder treatment: psychotherapy, and medication. Group therapy is sometimes used as a treatment, in addition to one-on-one therapy.
It should be noted that people with this disorder rarely seek treatment. This is because, unlike other types of mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety disorders, people with schizoid personality disorder are not usually distressed by their symptoms, thoughts, or behavior.
Medication is not used as a treatment for schizoid personality disorder, as this condition cannot be cured with drugs.
However, certain types of medication might be used to treat any disorders that are present along with the personality disorder.For example, antidepressants or antianxiety medications might be used to treat depression or anxiety, if present.
Sometimes, certain symptoms of the disorder can be alleviated somewhat with medication. For example, people with schizoid personality disorder have anhedonia, which means they are unable to take pleasure in things. Another symptom is a flattened range of emotion. Both of these symptoms can be improved with medication in some people.
It can be particularly challenging for a psychotherapy program to effectively treat someone with schizoid personality disorder. This is because people with the disorder are already resistant to trusting and forming relationships with people. This can pose a severe stumbling block, as forming a trusting relationship with a therapist an important aspect of treatment.
Treatment programs for schizoid personality disorder usually focus on helping the person cope with social interactions and other situations and behaviors he or she would normally avoid. Interpersonal communication, self-esteem, and relationships are other aspects that might be focused on.
Group therapy for schizoid personality disorder can be a useful form of treatment because it provides people with a safe place in which to practice social skills. It is also useful because it can help to increase an individual’s motivation to gain benefits from treatment. This is an important consideration because it is common for people with schizoid personality disorder to resist treatment or have low motivation to put effort into treatment programs.
National Institute of Health MedlinePlus: Schizoid Personality Disorder
The Cleveland Clinic Foundation: Schizoid Personality Disorder
The Mayo Clinic: Schizoid Personality Disorder
UK PsychNet: Schizoid Personality Disorder Information Sheet