Schizoid personality disorder often goes untreated because people with this illness tend to keep to themselves and don’t seek the company of others, including healthcare professionals. If they do seek schizoid treatment, it’s usually at the urging of a family member or required by the legal system. Schizoid personality therapy is usually the treatment of choice, though certain prescription medications may treat some symptoms of the condition.
Medication for Treating Schizoid Personality Disorder
No medication is approved specifically for schizoid personality disorder treatment. However, certain medications, such as antidepressants, may relieve the depression and anxiety that sometimes accompany this disorder.
Doctors may also prescribe bupropion to treat the patient’s inability to experience pleasure, and risperidone or olanzapine may improve the patient’s lack of emotions and social skills. Medication isn’t the primary method for treating schizoid personality disorder, however. In order to be effective, it must be combined with therapy.
Schizoid Personality Therapy
As is the case with most personality disorders, the preferred treatment is therapy with a licensed psychiatrist. A personality disorder responds best to therapy because the sessions address the root of the symptoms, helping the patient to develop coping strategies. Schizoid treatment typically consists of cognitive-behavioral therapy. In some cases, group therapy may also be recommended.
In cognitive-behavioral therapy, the psychiatrist attempts to restructure the patient’s thought patterns and related behaviors. For the psychiatrist, a personality disorder is challenging to treat because the patient usually sees her behavior as normal. In the case of schizoid personality disorder, patients also tend to keep others at arm’s length, which means the psychiatrist must take things slowly and work to gain her trust.
A patient who does well with cognitive-behavioral therapy may also benefit from group therapy, which provides schizoid patients with a safe environment in which to meet others and improve social skills.
People with schizoid personality disorder may only have close relationships with immediate family members, and family therapy can help both the patient and those close to him cope with this disorder. If the person with the disorder is married, couples therapy may be an appropriate approach to treating schizoid personality disorder.
In all types of therapy, the patient may not talk much at first. People with schizoid personality disorder often have little interest in forming relationships and typically don’t warm up easily to others. In order to develop an effective working relationship during schizoid personality therapy, the psychiatrist must respect his patient’s boundaries.
Encyclopedia of Mental Health. (2010). Schizoid personality disorder. Retrieved October 19, 2010, from http://www.minddisorders.com/Py-Z/Schizoid-personality-disorder.html
Grohol, J. M. (2010). Schizoid personality disorder. Retrieved October 19, 2010, from http://psychcentral.com/disorders/sx30.htm
Mayo Clinic. (2008). Schizoid personality disorder. Retrieved October 19, 2010, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/schizoid-personality-disorder/DS00865