Schizoid disorder is a personality disorder that involves a tendency to indifference towards social relationships, as well as a limited range of emotional expressions.
Personality disorders involve long-lasting and deeply ingrained patterns of behavior in people. In addition, this pattern of behavior differs greatly from the cultural expectations to which the individual belongs and prevents him from functioning properly in daily life. This specific disorder is within a continuum in which schizophrenia would be in the most serious extreme, followed by schizotypal disorder and schizoid disorder being in the milder extreme.
Schizoid Personality Disorder is included in the DSM V Group A Personality Disorders, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychological Disorders. This group A, in which schizotypal disorder and paranoid disorder are also found, corresponds to personality disorders classified as rare or eccentric that are characterized by an eccentric and secluded behavior pattern.
Schizoid personality disorder is characterized primarily by a pattern of indifference to social relationships, as well as few emotional expressions. This pattern usually begins in early adulthood and is more common among men than women, being a handicap to forming healthy relationships with others. In addition, people with schizoid disorder often have a propensity to "daydream" and are characterized by others as loners. Some evidence suggests that this may be an early stage of schizophrenia or a mild form of it, although in schizoid disorder the sense of reality is not lost. These are some of the most common symptoms:
These symptoms do not seem to be inappropriate for the individual, although they affect their daily life by not allowing them to interact with other people. Unlike avoidance disorder, in which people avoid social relationships out of fear of rejection or disapproval, people with schizoid personality disorder do not have any fear or shame in front of others since their behavior simply does not have any social motivation.
The causes of schizoid disorder, as with the rest of the personality disorders, are not exactly known, although the idea is that both genetics, education and context have an important role in the development of the disorders.
It is also estimated that in the specific case of schizoid disorder it is easier for its presentation to be based on whether the person has relatives who suffer from schizophrenia.
Sometimes schizoid disorder can occur alongside other disorders. Sometimes during highly stressful experiences, schizoid people can experience minor reactive psychoses. In addition, this disorder can occur together with other personality disorders such as schizotypal disorder, paranoid disorder or avoidance.
There is not much research on this disorder, since normally, people who suffer from it sometimes do not experience discomfort due to their loneliness and can find their behaviors rational and appropriate and do not usually seek treatment. As they are not inclined to maintain relationships, the relationship with the health professional is usually reduced.
In the long term, however, some medications prescribed by health professionals can help reduce the symptoms of this disorder, as well as other associated ones. These are the symptoms of anhedonia and dull affect that can be lessened with antipsychotics that are used to treat the same symptoms in schizophrenia..
Psychotherapy can be good for improving social skills and communication with others. Specifically, Cognitive behavioral therapy can be recommended to find and replace cognitive distortions that prevent the patient from adapting well to the environment, as well as group therapy can help improve interaction skills with others.