Schizoid personality disorder is a disorder whereby an individual avoids social interactions and consistently withdraws from interaction with others. Individuals with schizoid personality are usually loners and lack the ability to interact with others or form any type of constructive relationship. Individuals with schizoid personality disorder usually appear as aloof with a dry humor and are alone in a social environment. These individuals have very limited range of emotions, have a flat affect and usually remain indifferent to the surrounding environment. Most have little desire to experience sex, have very little to say, lack motivation, underperform and appear dull or boring to others. However, the inner life of these individuals is full of turmoil, confusion, ambivalence and wanting some type of emotional comfort. When given a chance to develop a relationship, these individuals quickly feel suffocated and retreat.
Like most personality disorders, the cause of schizoid personality is a mystery. Factors that increase risk include child abuse, having emotionally detached parent(s) or childhood neglect.
The cause of schizoid personality disorder is unknown. Schizoid personality may be seen early in life and peaks around adolescence. Both genders are affected but the disorder is slightly more common in males. The majority of individuals with this personality live a quiet solitary life, living in a family basement and work late night shifts where they do not have to interact with others. One important feature to understand about this personality is that unlike schizophrenics, they do not experience delusions, paranoia or psychotic episodes. These individuals may have a slow speech but usually do not say anything that is bizarre or odd.
Individuals with schizoid personality rarely seek professional help and only come to attention after legal or social problems. Schizoid personality suffers are at a great risk for developing drug addiction, depression, anxiety, panic or social phobia. Many of these individuals are naïve, are prone to victimization and often are preyed upon by others. These individuals always underestimate ill intentions of others and are often physically and emotionally hurt.
The treatment of schizoid personality is difficult as most individuals are non compliant or have trouble interacting with the therapist. There are no specific medications but some may require anti psychotics to help reverse the flat emotion. Some may benefit from group therapy because it provides social support. Early intervention in childhood may help diminish problematic behaviors in a few individuals but by far, the majority continue to worsen.