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Understanding Mental Disorder

Schizoid Personality Disorder (SPD)


Overview of SPD

Whereby an individual shows patterns of disinterest in forming relationships with others, even sometimes family, and preferring solitude. Individuals generally derive little pleasure from life and may appear ‘cold’, ‘detached’, ‘directionless’ or ‘flat’ and lack close friends. These individuals may not have any interest in what others think of them, both positive and negative, and are indifferent to praise or criticism. Under stress, these individuals may develop brief psychotic episodes, lasting only minutes to hours.

Causes

While the exact cause of schizoid personality disorder is unclear, it is thought that there is a genetic link to the disorder as it appears more in the relatives of individuals that have schizophrenic spectrum disorders, or schizotypal personality disorder. When growing up, children who lacked any experience of warmth, love or emotion may make individuals more likely to develop the disorder.

Treatment

Individuals with schizoid personality disorder do not generally come for treatment, as symptoms may not cause any negative emotions. However, cognitive behavioural therapy can be a useful tool in challenging negative beliefs. Exposure therapy can be an effective treatment in helping individuals expose themselves to social situations that they find uncomfortable, ultimately reducing this discomfort. Medications may be prescribed to treat specific symptoms of the disorder, for example antidepressants for depression and/or anxiety.

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