Schizoid personality disorder (SPD) is a condition where affected individuals tend to isolate themselves from others, tend to have difficulty expressing emotions, and tend to be loners to an extreme. Although a person with SPD may live a solitary lifestyle, the person might also function fairly well within society. However, high functioning individuals will still typically choose jobs where they have the ability to work alone.
Symptoms of SPD may include lacking pleasure from social activities, being emotionally cold towards others or having difficulty communicating emotions, having a habit of being alone, and lacking interest in relationships and sexual experiences and intimacy. Another common symptom is having an extreme obsession with fantasy. A person with SPD might daydream or create fantasy worlds involving their life.
Currently, the cause of SPD is unknown. People who are higher risk for developing SPD include those with a family history of schizoid personality disorder, schizophrenia, or schizotypal personality disorder. A person’s environment and personality during childhood may also play a role in the development of SPD. Typically, this personality disorder occurs more frequently in males than in females.
Individuals with SPD will usually be referred to a psychiatrist or psychologist for further assessment. To form a diagnosis, a medical professional may require a physical, medical, or psychiatric exam in addition to a review of the individual’s personal history. Treatment may include a form of counseling (psychotherapy) which will help the individual understand and manage the disorder. Group therapy and support groups may also help to practice social skills. Medications may also be prescribed to help ease some of the symptoms. SPD is a long-term condition, but this disorder can be eased with help from a medical professional. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed, talk to your doctor about current treatment options.