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.
Schizoid Guide for Family Members
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.
Complications of Schizoid Personality Disorder
Because people with schizoid personality disorder have poor social skills, they may not be able to sense if a person intends to harm them. As a result, those with a schizoid personality may be at increased risk of being victimized.
Other possible complications of schizoid personality disorder include:
- Alcohol addiction or substance abuse
- Anxiety disorder
- Development of schizophrenia, schizotypal personality disorder, delusional disorder or other personality disorders
- Panic disorder
- Social phobia.
Major depression can also occur in people who have schizoid personality disorder. Antidepressants may help relieve depressive symptoms.
Schizoid Personality Disorder Therapy
Schizoid personality disorder therapy can help people with this condition learn to better cope with symptoms of isolation and social anxiety. However, most people with this disorder won’t seek out treatment on their own because of their tendency to avoid other people. If pursued, schizoid personality therapy can help the patient adjust her patterns of thought and behavior.
Schizoid personality disorder therapy typically involves cognitive-behavioral therapy with an experienced psychiatrist. If the initial therapy goes well, the patient may participate in group therapy, which can provide a safe environment to work on improving social skills. An online schizoid personality disorder forum may also be helpful.
Schizoid personality disorder is a lifelong condition. Continuing treatment may be necessary to ensure that the patient doesn’t fall back into a pattern of social isolation.
Encyclopedia of Mental Health. (2010). Schizoid personality disorder. Retrieved October 19, 2010, from http://www.minddisorders.com/Py-Z/Schizoid-personality-disorder.html
Mayo Clinic. (2008). Schizoid personality disorder. Retrieved October 19, 2010, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/schizoid-personality-disorder/DS00865