Schizoid personality disorder

Definition
Schizoid personality disorder is characterized by a persistent withdrawal from social relationships
and lack of emotional responsiveness in most situations. It is sometimes referred to as a "pleasure
deficiency" because of the seeming inability of the person affected to experience joyful or
pleasurable responses to life situations.
Description
The person with schizoid personality disorder may be able to hold a job and meet the expectations
of an employer if the responsibilities do not require more than minimal interpersonal involvement.
People with this disorder may be married, but do not develop close intimate relationships with their
spouse and typically show no interest in sexual relations. Their speech is typically slow and
monotonous with a lethargic demeanor. Because their tendency is to turn inward, they can easily
become preoccupied with their own thoughts to the exclusion of what is happening in their
environment. Attempts to communicate may drift into tangents or confusing associations. They are
also prone to being absent minded.
Causes and symptoms
Causes: The schizoid personality disorder has its roots in the family of the affected person. These
families are typically emotionally reserved, have a high degree of formality, and have a
communication style that is aloof and impersonal. Parents usually express inadequate amounts of
affection to the child and provide insufficient amounts of emotional stimulus. This lack of stimulus
during the first year of life is thought to be largely responsible for the person's disinterest in
forming close, meaningful relationships later in life.
People with schizoid personality disorder have learned to imitate the style of interpersonal
relationships modeled in their families. In this environment, affected people fail to learn basic
communication skills that would enable them to develop relationships and interact effectively with
others. Their communication is often vague and fragmented, which others find confusing. Many
individuals with schizoid personality disorder feel misunderstood by others.
Symptoms: DSM-IV-TRspecifies seven diagnostic criteria for schizoid personality disorder:

Avoids close relationships: People with this disorder show no interest or enjoyment in
developing interpersonal relationships; this may also include family members. They
perceive themselves as social misfits and believe they can function best when not
dependent on anyone except themselves. They rarely date, often do not marry, and have
few, if any, friends.
Prefers solitude: They prefer and choose activities that they can do by themselves without
dependence upon or involvement by others. Examples of activities they might choose
include mechanical or abstract tasks such as computer or mathematical games.
Avoids sex: There is typically little or no interest in having a sexual experience with
another person. This would include a spouse if the affected person is married.

There must also be the presence of at least four of the abovementioned symptoms. they practice little introspection. Other assessment tools helpful in diagnosing schizoid personality disorder include:     Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2) Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI-II) Rorschach Psychodiagnostic Test Thematic Apperception Test(TAT) . A common difficulty in diagnosing schizoid personality disorder is distinguishing it from Autistic Disorder and Asperger's Disorder. which are characterized by more severe deficits in social skills.    Lacks pleasure: There is an absence of pleasure in most activities. Demographics Of all personality disorders. The person with schizoid personality disorder rarely picks up on or reciprocates normal communicational cues such as facial expressions. schizoid personality disorder is the least commonly diagnosed personality disorder in the general population. head nods. Emotional detachment: Their emotional style is aloof and perceived by others as distant or "cold. It is diagnosed slightly more often in males. which increases the feelings of isolation and social ineptness they feel. and underachievement in school. dull or humorless. Children with these tendencies appear socially out-of-step with peers and often become the object of malicious teasing by their peers. Indifferent to praise or criticism: Neither positive nor negative comments made by others elicit an emotionally expressive reaction. or smiles. This results in few ongoing social relationships outside of immediate family members. Other individuals who would display social habits that might be viewed as "isolating" should not be given the diagnosis of schizoid personality disorder unless the personality traits are inflexible and cause significant obstacles to adequate functioning." They seem unable or uninterested in expressing empathy and concern for others. Lacks close friends: People affected with this disorder typically do not have the social skills necessary to develop meaningful interpersonal relationships. The diagnosis is based on a clinical interview to assess symptomatic behavior. there must be an ongoing avoidance of social relationships and a restricted range of emotion in interpersonal relationships that begin by early adulthood. A person with schizoid personality disorder seems unable to experience the full range of emotion accessible to most people. Emotions are significantly restricted and most social contacts would describe their personality as very bland. For a diagnosis of schizoid personality disorder to be accurately made. a tendency toward self-isolation. They don't appear concerned about what others might think of them. The prevalence is approximately one percent. Diagnosis The symptoms of schizoid personality disorder may begin in childhood or adolescence showing as poor peer relationships. Despite their tendency to turn inward to escape social contact.

Many people with this disorder do not marry and end up living with and are dependent upon first-degree family members. Psychodynamically oriented therapies A psychodynamic approach would typically not be the first choice of treatment due to the patient's poor ability to explore his or her thoughts. Constructive ways of accomplishing this would include concrete assignments such as keeping daily records of problematic behaviors or thoughts. It can also provide a means of learning and practicing social skills in which they are deficient. it is usually on the initiative of the spouse or other family member. Group therapy Group therapy may provide the patient with a socializing experience that exposes them to feedback from others in a safe. It is best to develop first a therapeutic relationship between therapist and patient before starting a group therapy treatment. and behavior. controlled environment. Medications Some patients with this disorder show signs of anxiety and depression which may prompt the use of medication to counteract these symptoms. it usually centers around building a therapeutic relationship with the patient that can act as a model for use in other relationships. In this case. When this treatment is used.Treatments A major goal of treating a patient diagnosed with schizoid personality disorder is to combat the tendencies toward social withdrawal. therapy may be recommended for family members to educate them on aspects of change or ways to facilitate communication. Since the patient usually avoids social contact. This might enable individuals to become more conscious of communication cues given by others and sensitize them to others' needs. Another helpful method can be teaching social skills through role-playing. . Marital therapy (also called couples therapy) may focus on helping the couple to become more involved in each other's lives or improve communication patterns. Family and marital therapy It is unlikely that a person with schizoid personality disorder will seek family therapy or marital therapy. emotions. If pursued. In general. Cognitive-behavioral therapy Attempting to cognitively restructure the patient's thoughts can enhance self-insight. timing of group therapy is of particular importance. Strategies should focus on enhancing self-awareness and sensitivity to their relational contacts and environment. there is to date no definitive medication that is used to treat schizoid symptoms.