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Schizoid Personality Disorder Information

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Schizoid personality disorder is a condition in which a person develops an abnormal pattern of thinking or behaving which usually is irrational and socially unacceptable or out of the norm. It is not a widely known disorder and often the condition is misinterpreted as eccentricity,  paranoia, senility in the elderly or other mental health conditions. Depending on the severity, schizoid personality disorder can interfere with the activities of daily living and the person usually avoids social contacts. There can be difficulty functioning in the work environment and such people usually may choose to work in fields where they can work alone. This deformity can originate in the early adulthood. Often the symptoms become less severe with age.

Symptoms of Schizoid Personality Disorder

  • Incorrectly interpreting of events often thinking external events have some personal meaning.
  • Social anxiety which may not reduce even with familiarity.
  • Lack of friends other than close family members.
  • Irrational behavior, thinking and beliefs.
  • Delusions and a belief that they are different or ‘special’.
  • Distortions in perceptions of senses such as pains or other sensory distortions.
  • Idiosyncratic speech, vague patterns of speaking.
  • Suspicious or paranoid thoughts.
  • Absent or inappropriate psychological response.

These symptoms are similar to schizophrenia but schizoid personality disorder is not schizophrenia. However, there may be short episodes of psychotic behavior although it is not long lasting and as severe as in schizophrenia.

Causes and risk factors

Schizoid personality disorder is a deformity in one’s personality which governs a way a person interprets situations, thinks and behaves. This deformity may arise in childhood, at a time when a child’s mind is learning about their surroundings through interaction with people and the environment.

For some unknown reason the person may start perceiving his surroundings inappropriately leading if irrational thinking and behavior. Although the exact reason why this happens is not clear, it could be linked to abuse or neglect but not every person in this situation will develop or suffer with schizoid personality disorder.

Risk factors include :

  • A close family member with the disease.
  • Childhood abuse or neglect.
  • Uncaring parents.
  • Experiencing some trauma during childhood.

Treatment

Medications and other forms of therapy in combination are usually used to treat schizoid personality therapy. Drugs includes the use of antidepressant and antianxiety medication. Risperidone and olanzapine are some the medications used in this category. Psychotherapy, behavior therapy and cognitive therapy are often necessary rather than just drug therapy alone. A feeling of trust is developed between the therapist and the patient, which helps patient overcome the anxiety of relationships.

In behavioral therapy, the person learns the necessary social skills to deal with social fears and anxiety. Cognitive therapy helps a person perceive their surroundings in a rational manner. Family members may be involved in the process of counseling to reduce emotional stresses in the family and within the home environment. Group therapy is often also useful to assist people with schizoid personality disorder in understanding that they are not the only people experiencing these symptoms and finding support from others with the condition.

 


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