We Need To Talk About Schizoid Personality Disorder

The sudden awareness on social media websites around mental illnesses is confusing; suddenly a lot of internet users are acknowledging the existence of several mental illnesses and acting accordingly. But do these users truly understand the downfalls of these mental illnesses? Do they even know other mental illnesses than depression, anxiety, OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder), Schizophrenia exist?

Personality disorders are rarely discussed, and that’s why I decided to shed a light on one of them. To begin with, personality disorders are a way of thinking, feeling and behaving that deviates from the expectations of the culture, causes distress or problems functioning, and lasts over time. There are 10 types of personality disorders, each 3-4 grouped in clusters. Cluster A shows odd or eccentric behavior and includes paranoid, schizoid, and schizotypal personality disorders. Cluster B shows dramatic, emotional or erratic behavior and includes antisocial, borderline, histronic and narcissistic personality disorders. Cluster C shows anxious or fearful behavior and includes avoidant, dependent and obsessive-compulsive personality disorders.

Even though personality disorders are not rare in all communities, they are barely discussed and understood. In an attempt of awareness, we have to start discussing schizoid personality disorder. People with schizoid personality disorder tend to be cold, distant, uninterested in forming social relationships even with their families. They also have extreme difficulties relating to others. More noticeably, people with schizoid personality disorder do not feel like there is anything wrong with them. They are not aware that they might have a disorder of any type, so they simply don’t seek professional help.

A schizoid personality disorder can often be wronged for introversion. Introversion is the act of directing one’s interest inward or to things within the self. Introverts normally renew their energy from solitude, they feel the need to be alone after a long day. However, introverts take pleasure in several life activities, unlike those with a schizoid personality disorder who take pleasure in close to none. Introverts are born introverts, on the other hand, it’s said that a schizoid personality disorder is related to both nature and nurture. Some psychologists say that a childhood where warmth and emotion were absent makes the child more prone to schizoid personality disorder, or if they grew in a family of schizophrenics.

As for treatment, medication sometimes works with short treatment of extreme anxiety related to this disorder. But the most effective way of treatment is psychotherapy. There are several approaches to psychotherapy —  including cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal and other kinds of talk therapy — that help individuals work through their problems.

Lastly, it’s important to reach out. If you might have one of these symptoms; talk about it. Mention it. You’ll feel better even if you didn’t seek professional help. And if you’re diagnosed with schizoid personality disorder, don’t be scared to mention it in front of someone, only if you feel totally comfortable to do so. Just know that it’s not a flaw. You deserved to be heard and understood. And you will be.



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