Mental disorders similar to schizophrenia – 2: Schizoid Personality Disorder

A common thread links all those suffering from personality disorders – they exhibit prolonged tendencies of thinking patterns and behavioral tendencies considered distinct from what the society deems normal. Such people manifest inadequate coping skills and have difficulty in building healthy relationships. They fail to realize the problem they are facing and do not seek treatment for their personality disorder. Personality disorders affect nearly 9.1 percent adult American population, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

What is Schizoid Personality Disorder?

Schizoid Personality Disorder is an uncommon form of personality disorder characterized by social isolation tendencies. It should not be mistaken for schizophrenia, schizotypal personality disorder or antisocial personality disorder due to certain similar symptoms. People suffering from this disorder manifest lack of interest in forming or nurturing any kind of social relationships and are more keen in adopting a solitary or sheltered way of living, coupled with increased likelihood of exhibiting emotional coldness along with apathetic attitude.

Also understood as eccentric personality disorders, people afflicted with it are labeled as odd or peculiar due to their preference for solitary activities or difficulty they face in expressing themselves. Though homophonic in nature, schizophrenia and schizoid personality disorder differ in terms of nature of symptoms. People afflicted with schizoid personality disorder are able to function well and mostly show proclivity for jobs which require them to work alone.

Signs of schizoid personality disorder

Schizoid personality disorder is different from the other mental disorders that Americans suffer from and is characterized by:

  • lack of desire to enjoy close associations, including familial ties
  • increased predisposition to choose activities conducted in isolation
  • least interest in developing sexual relationships
  • exhibits a sense of pleasure in very few activities
  • bereft of close acquaintances apart from family relationships
  • seemingly indifferent to compliments or disapproval of other people
  • display an emotionally cold attitude or indifference to society

Like most other personality disorders, people are diagnosed with this disorder mostly in the adult stage. It is more evident among males compared to females.

Genes may be responsible for prevalence of this disorder

As in other mental disorders, no single biological or social factor can be attributed to the onset or progression of this disorder. Psychologists or psychiatrists trained to diagnose this disorder say there can be many causes behind the problem.

Genetic traits may be responsible for prevalence of this disorder in some people. Social factors, including interactions of these people with their families, friends and other children during the early stages of their lives, play an important role in determining the overall behavior in such people.

Psychological conditions, including their disposition and nature as determined by the environment in which they have been brought up, may be responsible for the disorder in some people.

Previous researches pinpointed at the complexity of all factors combined that can heighten the risk for some people to suffer from this disorder.

Seeking timely treatment

Diagnosis of this disorder takes time. Not many are detected with signs of this disorder till they reach adulthood. For those whose symptoms are manageable, prolonged psychotherapy under a trained mental health professional is recommended. Medications, coupled with various therapies, are prescribed for people complaining of exhaustion or debilitating symptoms.

Struggling with any kind of mental disorder is a big burden. One needs to seek professional help to tackle signs of various mental conditions to prevent their exacerbation. If you or your loved one is suffering from any nature of mental illness, call the 24/7 Mental Health Helpline to know about various mental health programs and mental health centers across America. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-653-8178 or chat online to know about mental health treatment facilities in the U.S.

Read the other articles of the series “Mental disorders similar to schizophrenia”:

  1. Mental disorders similar to schizophrenia – 1: Schizotypal Personality Disorder