We have often heard of the term Schizophrenia and its related disorders. Schizophrenia is a rare, complex long-term medical illness. On the other hand, there is Schizoid Personality Disorder. Although their names may sound alike and have similar symptoms but Schizoid is quite different from Schizophrenia. So, let's explore the differences and similarities in both disorders.
The term Schizophrenia is made up of 2 terms, Schizein which means split, and Phren which means mind. So, Schizophrenia means a split mind. It is a disorder involving delusions, hallucinations, disintegration of language, thoughts, emotions and behavior. Schizoid Personality Disorder is one of the group of conditions called eccentric personality disorder. It is an uncommon condition and here the people tend to be detached, distant and indifferent to social relationships. Both disorders are not easily seen among children, but mainly start in adolescence and young adulthood. In comparison to females, they are found more frequently among males.
Causes: The exact cause for both disorders is unknown. Although most researchers believe that a combination of genetics, brain chemistry, and environmental factors play a major role.
For people with Schizophrenia, neuroimaging studies have shown differences in the brain structure and central nervous system. Apart from this, having a family history of Schizophrenia, complications during birth, taking mind-altering drugs during young adulthood can contribute to the development of the disorder. Personality is shaped by a wide variety of factors like genetics, parenting styles, education, childhood experiences, and social interactions. All of these factors contribute to the development of Schizoid Personality Disorder.
Symptoms: In Schizophrenia, signs and symptoms can vary from person to person and from time to time. It has two types of symptoms: Positive symptoms that include hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech and behavior, loosening of association, bizarre movements, and incongruent affect and Negative symptoms include diminished emotional expression, lack of enthusiasm for fun activities, no expression for positive emotions, and apathy.
People diagnosed with Schizoid Personality Disorder are usually said to be cold, withdrawn, and uninterested. When in reality, they have difficulty in expressing emotions and reacting appropriately to situations. They experience indifference to social norms, little or no desire to form close relationships with others, lack of motivation, prefer being alone, avoid school or work. However, these symptoms can lead to severe complications like social isolation, suicide, substance abuse, and occurrence of other disorders like OCD, anxiety disorders, depression, aggressive behavior, and inability to function at school or work.
Treatment: People with either of the two disorders often lack awareness or don't believe they require medical attention. For Schizophrenia, the treatment includes medication (antipsychotics), psychosocial therapy, coordinated specialty care, electroconvulsive therapy, etc.
Treatment for Schizoid Personality Disorder includes Psychotherapy that helps increase general coping skills. Medications are usually not prescribed.
A WORD FROM SOCIALLY SOULED
There is no way to prevent Schizophrenia or Schizoid personality disorder. Getting diagnosed early, sticking to a treatment plan, and having emotional support can at least prevent relapses and worsening of symptoms.