Schizoid Personality Disorder and Addiction
Schizoid personality disorder (SPD) can be stressful and difficult to manage. This particular disorder is sometimes confused with schizophrenia, which is an entirely different disorder. People struggling with schizoid personality disorder are detached from social relationships (as opposed to reality). This personality disorder can cause a number of issues in a person’s social life. People struggling with schizoid personality disorder may have trouble expressing their emotions accurately. Expressing their emotions can be troubling and at times confusing for those around them.
In some cases, people suffering from this disorder may turn to substance abuse. It is not uncommon for co-occurring disorders to develop when people are struggling with substance abuse and a mental disorder. When this occurs, it’s crucial to get help as soon as possible (to avoid consequences down the line).
A Closer Look at Schizoid Personality Disorder
People struggling with SPD are typically against developing close relationships with others. They will avoid them altogether and spend most of their time alone. People with SPD may show little to no interest in intimacy (in all forms). A person with a schizoid personality disorder can usually be seen as the prototypical loner, usually shutting themselves away from human connection.
However, in many cases of schizoid personality disorder, a person may form bonds with animals instead of humans. Due to this lack of human contact, people struggling with SPD have little to no social skills. They have very few friends, rarely date, and almost never marry.
Social interactions only occur because of family pressure or social need to conform to normal behaviors or for economic need. When looking for jobs, those with SPD tend to get jobs that don’t require human interaction or those that allow them to work alone. Truck drivers, some repair jobs, and software development would all be preferred jobs for someone with SPD.
Signs and Symptoms of Schizoid Personality Disorder
There are certain signs that may indicate a schizoid personality disorder. SPD appears during childhood and doesn’t really show signs until you are in your late teens or early twenties. This is due to the fact that it takes time to develop patterns and personalities in children and teens.
Statistically, around 3-5% of people develop this personality disorder and it’s typically seen in men more than women. The signs and symptoms of SPD generally show itself through a lack of interest in people and emotional flatness. Some signs of schizoid personality disorder include the following:
- No interest in sexual relationships with others
- Emotional coolness, detachment, and flatness
- Little to no reaction when given praise or criticism
- General lack of interest in close relationships (including family members)
- No enjoyment or pleasure in activities (activities that many often enjoy)
- Lack of friends or people they can trust (besides 1 or 2 relatives)
People with schizoid personality disorder tend to show very little emotion, which is referred to as emotional coldness or flatness. People struggling with SPD also have a very difficult time showing and expressing anger. Even if they are provoked directly, the person may seem calm or cold about the situation. While it may seem like they aren’t experiencing emotions, they are.
As someone grows older, some of the more intense symptoms of schizoid personality disorder will subside. By the time the person is in their 40s or 50s, the most extreme effects will have left. With this in mind, it is still important to get the right treatment and help. Free by the Sea deals with both addiction and mental health.
What is the Cause of Schizoid Personality Disorder?
As of right now, no one truly knows the root cause of why someone develops schizoid personality disorder. It is theorized that there may be a multitude of different reasons why a person may develop SPD. Family history, genetics, and social factors can all be possible reasons for someone developing this personality disorder.
Whatever the reason is, it is important to get help. Schizoid personality disorder can have negative effects on a person’s mind and life. What worsens the situation is the inclusion of drugs and alcohol. Free by the Sea is here to guide you and your loved ones towards a better, healthier life.
Schizoid Personality Disorder and Substance Use Disorder
While there is no true link between substance abuse and schizoid personality disorder, there is a correlation. Oftentimes, people struggling with a mental illness like SPD suffer from depression and anxiety, which can lead to substance abuse. Substance use disorder occurs when someone uses an excessive amount of drugs on a frequent basis. So much so, that it begins to damage their life.
For cases of schizoid personality disorder, a person may turn to alcohol and drugs as a substitute for human relations and connections. Over time they may form a connection with addiction, which gets rid of the need to interact with people. Substance abuse can become a whole other issue in itself if left untreated. Together SPD and substance abuse can become co-occurring disorders (when a person struggles with both drug abuse and mental illness).
Treating Schizoid Personality Disorder
There are a few different ways to approach a case of schizoid personality disorder. However, due to the nature of SPD, there are a number of complications that arise. Since people with SPD don’t interact with others often, it is very unlikely they’ll seek treatment in the first place.
Additionally, since the main form of treatment is therapy, more complications often arise. Therapy involves communicating and talking on a deep, emotional level with a therapist. This can be extremely tough for people with SPD and it’s a situation they would want to avoid entirely.
Treating causes of schizoid personality disorder can be a tough job and creating trust within the person can be even harder. Building trust is one of the most important aspects of pretty much every type of therapy. Since a person with SPD has a tough time trusting and even talking to people (even family members), this can be a tricky prospect.
Group therapy is also a difficult option for those with schizoid personality disorders. Intense social situations like group therapy can be very tough for the person. However, if the person can stick with it, group therapy can sometimes help a person come to terms with certain aspects of intimacy in a supportive environment.
Treating Substance Use Disorder As a Co-occurring Disorder
As mentioned previously, substance use disorder is something that can easily develop in someone with a schizoid personality disorder. A co-occurring disorder (or dual diagnosis) occurs when a person is struggling with both an addiction and a mental illness (in this case SPD).
Treating substance use disorders are more clear and effective than treating a disorder like SPD. Since the symptoms and effects of drug abuse are much more severe, a person may be more inclined to get help. Substance use disorder can cause a number of dangerous and negative health, social, and mental problems in the long run.
Treating a substance use disorder typically uses a series of treatment options. The severity depends on the substance at hand and the frequency of use. Here are a few common treatment options for substance use disorder and addiction:
- Group therapy
- Support Groups
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Medication (there are no known medications for SPD; only some of its symptoms)
If a person with SPD decides to get help for their addiction, they may be able also to get help for their disorder as well. During treatment, addressing these underlying causes of anxiety and depression can help a person confront their situation. No matter how you got to where you are, there is always help around the corner.
Get Help Today
At Free by the Sea, we understand how difficult cases of schizoid personality disorder can be. However, we want to offer you or a loved one a comfortable and supportive environment. You don’t have to go through this alone, let’s move towards the life you deserve. Contact us today for more information on addiction treatment and resources. Also, you can visit our treatment page to learn more about each of these treatment options.