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Schizoid personality disorder is a type of eccentric personality disorder. A person with this disorder has behavior that is different from most other people. For example, people with schizoid personality disorder tend to avoid social interactions, and some may seem aloof or lacking personality. However, people with this disorder are able to function fairly well in society.
Most people with this condition have a relative with schizophrenia, schizoid personality disorder, or schizotypal personality disorder. Environmental factors can cause the disease and seem to have the most impact during childhood. Experiencing abuse or neglect as a child may contribute to the condition. An emotionally detached parent may also be a factor. This disorder occurs more commonly in men than women.
This condition is usually diagnosed in early adulthood. Symptoms include:
Your doctor will begin with a complete physical examination. This is done to look for any physical conditions that may be causing your symptoms. Your doctor may refer you to a mental health professional.
A mental health professional will complete a psychiatric assessment. This may involve filling out questionnaires about your symptoms and thoughts. You will also have an interview with the mental health professional. You will be asked questions about your childhood, relationships, and job history. A mental health professional will use your responses from all the tests to give a diagnosis. He or she may also create a treatment plan for you.
Many people choose not to seek treatment because this includes interacting with others. However, treatment can be successful if you are able to agree to it. Cognitive behavioral therapy is designed to change behavior. It can be successful in treating this condition because you will learn how to act in social situations. This may reduce anxiety and reluctance to pursue social relationships. Group therapy is another option and can help you practice your social skills. This will help you become more comfortable in social situations.
Medication is generally not used unless other treatment methods are not working. Bupropion may be used to increase feelings of pleasure. Antipsychotic medications can be used to treat feelings of indifference. These medications can also help encourage social interactions.
This is a chronic condition that has no cure. Some people with the disease may not be able to hold a job or be in a relationship with other people. However, many people are able to hold jobs and live fairly normal lives.
Written by: Janelle Martel
Medically reviewed on: Sep 10, 2012: George Krucik, MD
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