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Schizoid – The Hidden Personality Disorder

Substance abuse, alcohol abuse, uncertain employment, declining school performance, discrimination, spousal abuse, poverty, mass shootings, and the list goes on. Every month for the past year, behavioral and emotional disorders top the list of mental illnesses in the United States and each condition mentioned in the opening lines of this article have directly affected mental health and mental well-being.

Despite TV, radio, and media highlighting mental health, and celebrities and public figures sharing their struggles, the stigma on the mentally ill, and those seeking mental health care, has increased. More than 50% of people displaying symptoms of mental illness are avoiding friends and family, isolating beyond COVID-19 requirements, and shutting others out physically and verbally, in short, suffering alone.

What is Schizoid Personality Disorder?

Appearing as introverts or loners, many of these self-isolators suffer from what many refer to as the hidden disorder – schizoid personality disorder. People suffering from schizoid can hide symptoms and live what appears to be a normal life. Usually diagnosed in young adults, children, adolescents, and teens have been diagnosed with schizoid personality disorder. Clinical studies have diagnosed schizoid in seniors who are homebound, have recently lost a spouse, was recently moved from their home, and who live alone – especially in cities with extended periods of inclement or hazardous weather keeping them indoors and alone. Schizoid personality disorder is a pervasive condition characterized by social isolation, loneliness, forced isolation, and/or lifestyle.  The child who sits alone on the playground, the employee who keeps to him/herself, the neighbor who never comes out and the wallflower sitting in the corner could all be suffering symptoms of schizoid. The clinicians and therapists of Improving Lives Counseling Services diagnose and treat behavioral, developmental, and personality disorders.

Patients suffering the symptoms of schizoid can appear to function normally, though they prefer to work alone with limited supervision and little to no public or co-worker contact. Social gatherings, relationships, and intimacy are avoided – which is easy due to their cold, often aloof, personality. They meet basic needs of food, shelter, and clothing; however, they are rarely motivated or inspired and avoid setting goals.    Related problems can include chronic stress, anxiety, and depression.

People diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and comorbid bipolar disorder (BD) are at a higher risk for a schizoid diagnosis.  Affecting men more than women, little is known about the cause(s) of schizoid, however, researchers found people diagnosed with schizoid often had family members diagnosed with schizophrenia, were caretaker to a family member suffering mental illness, or spent early childhood (formative years) exposed to an alcoholic, addicted, or promiscuous parent or caretaker. Child abuse, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD) were significantly associated with schizoid.

Untreated, schizoid can lead to chronic physiological and psychological illnesses, including changes in brain structure and function, weight gain, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and an overactive immune system. People diagnosed with schizoid personality disorder reportedly die 15-20 years earlier than the average person.

Meet With Our Oklahoma Counselors and Therapists

Though schizoid, schizotypal, and schizophrenia sound alike, they are different personality disorders with distinct symptoms and diagnostic criteria. Improving Lives Counseling Services’ team of professionals, licensed counselors and therapists, diagnose and treat schizoid personality disorder, identify disorders, and associated psychological illnesses in children, adolescents, teens, adults, and seniors – in individual, couples, family, and group online (virtual) and distancing-in-person sessions. Live the life you were meant to live. We can help. Call us.