Personality and Personal Growth: Schizoid Personality Disorder
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Schizoid personality disorder is a condition where someone intensely avoid interacting with other people. This is a relatively uncommon disorder and many people simply see patients as loners. Like many personality disorders, there are more males that are affected then females.
Any personality type can be affected by this disorder because it does not discriminate. It can make someone seem like they have no emotions and like they have no care about anything that is happening around them. Sufferers can be very lonely, but often do not want to acknowledge this.
A personal development plan is often helpful in you coping with your symptoms. This condition is not curable, but there are ways to keep the disorder under control. Understanding this condition and what it can cause is the first step in helping yourself to better cope with your symptoms.
Exploring the Symptoms of this Personality Disorder
This condition is on the schizophrenic spectrum, but it is a separate disorder from schizophrenia and this is important to note. This personality disorder tends to cause less severe symptoms compared to schizophrenia. The symptoms can include:
Choosing solitary activities and preferring being along
You are confused about how you are supposed to react to normal social cues
A feeling like experiencing pleasure is not possible
Unmotivated to do well when it comes to work and school
Few if any close friendships
Take pride in being along
Little to no need to experience sexual relationships
Seeming to be indifferent, dull or emotionally cold
Knowing the Causes of this Disorder
It is yet to be known exactly what causes someone to develop this disorder. Experts believe that there is a combination of environmental and genetic factors that come into play, and this is especially true during the early childhood years. There are several risk factors that might play a role, including:
Having a close relative with this disorder, another personality disorder or schizophrenia
Being thin-skinned or overly sensitive during childhood
Having had an unresponsive or cold parent when it comes to emotional needs
Suffering from child neglect, abuse or mistreatment, especially during your childhood years
How this Personality Disorder is Diagnosed
You will start with an appointment with your primary doctor where he or she will work to rule out any physical causes and make sure that medications are not responsible. Once this is done, you will meet with a mental healthcare professional. He or she will use the DSM-5 to make the diagnosis by making sure that you meet the right criteria for this personality disorder. The criteria set forth says that you have to have a minimum of four of the following:
No desire for close relationships
Little interest in sexual relationships
No close friends
Emotionally detached, cold or unexpressive
Choosing only solitary activities
Not taking pleasure in fun activities
Not caring about criticism or praise
The Treatments Used for this Disorder
It can be difficult to get someone to start treatment for this disorder because they are simply not interested. However, once they agree to treatment, a combination of the following is typically administered:
Talk therapy: This allows you to explore your symptoms and the impact that they are having their life. You will learn about coping mechanisms and how to better cope with the emotional bluntedness that this disorder causes. You will also learn more about trusting others and building relationships.
Group therapy: This is another form of therapy that your doctor might recommend later in your treatment regimen. It helps you to learn and practice interpersonal skills so that you better relate to people.
Medications: Certain medications can be helpful, but these are not routine. Your doctor might prescribe antidepressants or antipsychotic medications.
Now you have a better idea about what this disorder is and how it can affect someone who has it. You also know what it takes to get a diagnosis and what might put someone at a higher risk for developing it. Since any personality type can be affected, virtually every young person is at risk. However, since it is uncommon, it is critical that you get an accurate diagnosis and get help with the right treatment plan. A personal development plan can be a part of your treatment.
In fact, your doctor can help you to craft a personal development plan that targets your personality type, the severity of the disorder and the symptoms that you experience. This can help you to live as normal a life as possible.