Schizoid Personality Disorder and Addiction

Schizoid Personality Disorder and AddictionHaving schizoid personality disorder puts a person at an increased risk of developing an addiction to drugs or alcohol. People with schizoid personality disorder are often especially attracted to psychedelic drugs (including marijuana).

What Is Schizoid Personality Disorder?

Schizoid personality disorder is part of the “schizophrenic spectrum” of disorders that also includes schizotypal personality disorder and schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is often confused with multiple personality disorder, but they are in fact separate and distinct conditions. All schizophrenic spectrum disorders have similar characteristics; however, people with schizotypal personality disorder or schizophrenia often lose touch with reality, feel extremely paranoid and may experience hallucinations. Their speech is often strange, incoherent, and hard to follow. People with schizoid personality disorder, on the other hand, do not lose touch with reality and do not experience hallucinations. Their speech is generally coherent and makes sense.

In simplest terms, schizoid personality disorder is characterized by difficulty relating to and interacting with others. People with schizoid personality disorder are typically seen by others as loners. They may appear to others to be aloof, but in reality they are often very sensitive. They appear aloof because they are actually insecure about interacting with other people and are unsure of social cues, so they avoid these situations.

According to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), to be diagnosed with schizoid personality disorder a person must exhibit four or more of the following characteristics:

  • You neither desire nor enjoy close relationships, including being part of a family.
  • You almost always choose solitary activities.
  • You have little, if any, interest in sexual experiences with another person.
  • You take pleasure in few, if any, activities and rarely experience strong emotions.
  • You don’t have any close friends or confidants other than first-degree relatives.
  • You seem not to care about praise or criticism.
  • You seem emotionally cold, detached, or unexpressive.

Treating Schizoid Personality Disorder and Addiction

Unlike bipolar disorder which is nearly always treated with mood stabilizing medication, there is no specific pharmacological treatment for schizoid personality disorder, although a psychiatrist may prescribe medications for specific symptoms. Schizoid personality disorder is most often treated with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which will help the patient to recognize and understand the possible roots of the condition and also to learn more effective ways of relating to others. Patients with schizoid personality disorder sometimes have difficulty opening up to a therapist in treatment. A therapist who specializes in and has experience treating patients with schizoid personality disorder is likely to be more sensitive to the needs of this type of patient and to be patient enough to let the patient progress at his own speed without pushing the patient to disclose sensitive personal information before he is ready.

CBT is also the most often used treatment for drug addiction, which again is a common problem in patients with schizoid personality disorder. Therefore, for a patient with schizoid personality disorder who suffers from drug addiction, finding a CBT practitioner with experience treating schizoid personality disorder with co-occurring drug addiction is likely to be the best option for treatment.

Help Finding Treatment

If you would like to know more about schizoid personality disorder, including where you can receive a diagnosis and treatment, or if you have any questions about or would like help finding treatment for drug addiction, please call our toll-free 24 hour helpline today.