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Schizoid Personality Traits

Schizoid Personality Traits

A summary of schizoid personality disorder, with emphasis on the personality traits that are seen in people affected by this condition and a passing reference to its causes, diagnosis, and treatment.
PsycholoGenie Staff
Schizoid personality disorder is one of the several personality disorders, wherein an individual displays traits typically characterized by social isolation and shyness. In case of this disorder, the person's inability to connect with other people around him leaves him lonely. Recent studies reveal that these people do attempt to connect with the people around, but their hypersensitive nature restricts them from getting involved in the relationship.

Schizoid Personality Disorder

Though the exact causes of schizoid personality disorder are not known, studies suggest that a combination of genetic and environmental factors contribute to it. The chances of suffering from this disorder are significant in people with a family history of schizophrenia or schizotypal personality disorder. Other than this genetic factor, environmental factors associated with this condition include neglectful parenting, hypersensitive childhood, child abuse, etc.

Personality Traits

Basically, individuals suffering from schizoid personality disorder are inclined towards a solitary lifestyle. They have an abnormally strong craving for solitude and independence. They prefer to get involved in activities which don't require them to interact with other people. Their response to social settings is very poor. They are seldom seen getting involved in any sort of social gatherings. These people appear indifferent to others. They seldom have any sexual desires. Generally, these individuals prefer being followers than being leaders. To sum it up, these people are totally aloof of the outside world and find solace in their own world.

Most of these personality traits start appearing in childhood and continue through the adolescence phase into adulthood. These traits have a striking resemblance to schizotypal personality traits and hence, many people tend to think that both are same. That, however, is a myth, as people with each of these disorders display different characteristic traits. While people with schizoid personality avoid social interaction as they lack the desire, people with schizotypal personality avoid it owing to their fear of people.

Diagnosis and Treatment

In order to qualify for the schizoid personality disorder diagnosis, one has to meet the criteria stated in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). There are no lab tests for this disorder, except for those which are executed to rule out the possibility of other underlying ailments. By and large, the diagnosis of this disorder will include consultation with the doctor. During this consultation, the doctor will take the symptoms and medical history of the individual, as well as the family, into consideration.

The diagnosis part can be a bit difficult considering that these individuals lack the ability of opening up to other people. However, once the disorder has been established, treatment can be initiated promptly. The treatment for this disorder basically includes psychotherapy or medication. The doctor may also advise a combination of both, depending on the diagnosis of that particular case.

The fact that this disorder starts from early childhood means it can be prevented to a certain extent, either by providing a suitable environment for the child or ensuring early intervention if any of these traits are observed.