Schizoid Personality Disorder: Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment

schizoid personality disorder

Schizoid Personality Disorder: Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment

Schizoid personality disorder (ScPD) is a mental health condition that is characterized by a general disinterest in social relationships and a pattern of detachment issues.

People with this condition generally:

  • Do not want or enjoy close relationships
  • Rarely experience or express strong emotions
  • Choose hobbies or activities that do not include socializing (i.e. playing an instrument, working on cars, or playing solo video games)
  • Have little to no sexual desire
  • Have an apparent indifference to praise or criticism from others

Schizoid personality disorder belongs to a group of mental health conditions known as “Cluster A” personality disorders. These personality disorders are characterized by unusual and eccentric thinking or behaviors. People with this condition may seem aloof, distant, or disengaged and often do not realize that their behavior is problematic.

According to a study, “About 3.1 to 4.9% of the general US population have a schizoid personality disorder.”[1] Additionally, this condition is more common among men than women.

The Symptoms of Schizoid Personality Disorder

People with this condition are often described as reclusive, organizing their lives to avoid interaction with others. They may do so unknowingly and be unaware of the fact that this is not a common personality trait. Oftentimes, people with schizoid personality disorder never marry and continue to live with their parents in adulthood.

Other common traits associated with this personality disorder include:

  • Prefer being alone and avoid activities that require socializing
  • Have no desire for or find no enjoyment in close relationships
  • Feel little if any desire for sexual relationships
  • Being unable to experience strong emotions or pleasure
  • Having difficulty expressing emotions or reacting appropriately to situations
  • Appear humorless, indifferent, or emotionally cold to others around them
  • Lack of motivation and goals in life
  • Not reacting to praise or critical remarks from others

While some features of this condition may be noticeable in childhood, schizoid personality disorder begins to take effect in early adulthood. The symptoms of this condition can cause an individual to have a hard time functioning well in school, a job, or other social areas of life. Because of this, many people with this personality disorder tend to seek jobs that allow them to work in solitude.

How is Schizoid Personality Disorder Diagnosed?

Personality is something that evolves during childhood and continues to develop through early adulthood. Because of this, healthcare providers cannot diagnose any form of personality disorder before the age of 18. This makes it difficult for personality disorders to be diagnosed, as personality is a complex and unique thing to each person.

When someone with this condition seeks professional help, it is usually for co-occurring conditions like anxiety, depression, or substance abuse. This is because people with schizoid personality disorder are unable to recognize that they are experiencing the symptoms of a mental health condition because it is their personality that is affected.

To make an accurate diagnosis, healthcare professionals ask questions about:

  • Childhood history
  • Personal relationships
  • Family history of mental illness
  • Work history
  • Reality testing

People with this condition lack insight into their problematic behaviors so many professionals work closely with their family members to determine a diagnosis. This allows them to collect more information about the individual’s behaviors, childhood, and their family’s history of mental health issues. Additionally, there are diagnostic tools provided by the DSM-V that healthcare professionals use to determine whether an individual has a schizoid personality disorder.

Treating Schizoid Personality Disorder

A schizoid personality disorder is treated through three evidence-based practices: family therapy, group therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Each therapeutic practice helps the patient learn how to socialize healthily and productively, allowing them to perform better in their daily lives. Because this is a personality disorder, medications are typically not used in the treatment of ScPD.

Family Therapy

Typically, people who are recovering from this condition come to treatment at the request of their family members. This occurs because their behavior is causing problems in the family dynamic. As a result, family therapy can be extremely helpful in the recovery from a schizoid personality disorder.

Group Therapy

Group therapy is a type of psychotherapy that helps individuals learn to describe and discuss their issues with others under the supervision of a licensed therapist. Because of the anti-social nature of someone with schizoid personality disorder, socializing in a group therapy setting can help them learn how to behave and healthily interact with others. This practice can also teach them how to succeed in school or a career.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a structured and goal-oriented form of therapy that helps people understand their thoughts and emotions to determine how they affect their actions. In the case of someone with schizoid personality disorder, they tend to have a hard time understanding why close relationships are important. CBT can help patients begin to dismantle some of their distorted thoughts and perceptions about the importance of social interaction and interpersonal relationships.

Finding Help for Schizoid Personality Disorder

If you or a loved one suffer from a personality disorder, you may have a hard time functioning in your daily life. Interacting with others can be difficult, however, personal relationships are important for everyone. Because of this, treatment is necessary to help you learn how to interact with others in a productive and healthy way.

Florida Recovery Group can help you learn to manage the symptoms of a personality disorder. Contact us today to see if our mental health treatment program is right for you.