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Schizoid Personality Disorder Treatment

Understanding Schizoid Personality Disorder

Schizoid personality disorder is characterized by a limited range of emotional expression, as well as social awkwardness. Teens diagnosed with schizoid personality disorder are not typically less emotional than their peers, but simply less emotive.

Because schizoid personality disorder can develop early on in adolescence, it can heavily impact a teen’s social skills and their relationships, causing them to struggle to create any lasting bonds with other people. Teens with schizoid personality disorder often become lonely as a result of their emotive problems or may be more likely to form close bonds with animal companions rather than other people.

Under the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, schizoid personality disorder is characterized as one of ten different personality disorders and shares a category with a cluster of disorders known for odd or eccentric behavior, including paranoid personality disorder and schizotypal personality disorder.

While teens with schizoid personality disorder struggle to function socially, they are otherwise just as capable as their peers. When identified early on and treated consistently, teens with schizoid personality disorder can see some long-term improvements in their social abilities and relationship skills. However, treatment can become much harder in adulthood.

The longer a person lives with schizoid personality disorder, the more they learn to cope being alone. It becomes more difficult to convince them that they need other people, especially if they have already found other ways of becoming personally fulfilled, whether through their work or individual interests and solitary hobbies.

Schizophrenia vs. Schizoid vs. Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Schizoid personality disorder may be related to schizophrenic conditions such as schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder due to symptoms of social withdrawal and isolation, but unlike mental health conditions on the schizophrenic spectrum, schizoid personality disorder does not include symptoms of psychosis or a detachment from reality of any sort.

Teens with schizotypal personality disorder, for example, exhibit odd or eccentric beliefs and are often convinced of the existence of special powers of perception, or even the supernatural. While these beliefs can be separated from reality through therapy more easily than a psychotic episode, some teens with schizotypal personality disorder also experience mild hallucinations or perceive things that aren’t real in episodes of psychosis.

Schizophrenia is a diagnosis of a much more serious case of psychosis, where people experience a full break from reality. This can be intense and may require medication and concurrent one-on-one therapy to help teens separate the real from the unreal.

Yet despite the similar names and a shared categorization under odd personality disorders, teens with schizoid personality disorder do not experience psychotic symptoms, and do not typically experience breaks from reality, unless as part of a different concurrent delusional disorder.

Signs and Symptoms of Schizoid Personality Disorder

The symptoms of a schizoid personality disorder are fairly distinct. While other personality disorders strongly feature social anxiety, social awkwardness, difficulty with social cues, or a difficulty regulating one’s emotions and mood swings, schizoid personality disorder uniquely struggles with effective emoting, and teens diagnosed with schizoid personality disorder have a reputation for appearing wooden, cold, robotic, or distant at all times. Some of the signs of schizoid personality disorder include:

  • A limited range of emotional experience.
  • Seemingly humorless or excessively serious demeanor.
  • Considered inconsiderate or cold towards others.
  • Often prefer to be alone as a result of their experiences with other people.
  • Do not enjoy close relationships.
  • Low sex drive, and generally a low interest in pursuing a physical relationship.
  • Difficulty reacting appropriately to situations.
  • Difficulty matching appropriate moods and emotions.
  • Appear to lack motivation or drive.
  • Appear to act indifferent towards both criticism and praise.

One of the difficulties in describing the causes of schizoid personality disorder is that limited research exists on the condition. Some twin studies show that genes carry at least about a third of the risk factor – but which environmental risk factors contribute the most to schizoid personality disorder is difficult to say.

Furthermore, teens with schizoid personality disorder are also likely to experience other concurrent mental health issues, which can complicate both diagnosis and treatment processes. However, since schizoid personality disorder symptoms usually begin in childhood and remain both chronic and consistent, the condition can often be determined through proper assessment and screening, even if other mental health problems are present.

At the root of any case of schizoid personality disorder is the ever-present element of isolation, as well as a comfort in solitude.

Teens with schizoid personality disorder may still long for meaningful relationships, however, even if they aren’t as keen on interpersonal relationships as most of their peers.

As with most personality disorders, it’s very rare for teens themselves to acknowledge that they need help or have a problem. Because they exist in a different state of “normal” than most people, the option for treatment usually only arises through a loved one’s referral, or a concurrent mental health issue, such as panic disorder or chronic depression.

How is Schizoid Personality Disorder Treated in Teens?

There are no therapies or medication protocols specifically designed for schizoid personality disorder, but patients looking for treatment have found success in long-term one-on-one psychotherapy and behavioral therapy.

The aim behind behavioral therapy is to help patients identify behavioral patterns that they should avoid or adopt in an attempt to elicit better social reactions, as well as suppress or address negative impulses.

Helping a teen through talk therapy can take time. Personality disorders encompass a person’s behavioral patterns, ways of thinking, and their world view. Only consistent effort can help them develop better social habits, and the cues needed to pursue meaningful relationships, and find happiness in social engagement.

Schizoid Personality Disorder Treatment at the Arrow House

Our residential treatment plans can help teens with schizoid personality disorder seek behavioral therapy and make new contact with other peers through group therapy sessions and residential cohabitation. Get in touch with us today to find out more about our inpatient treatment programs for teen personality disorders.