Unlike people with schizotypal personality disorder who may have one or two semi-close relationships, people with schizoid personality disorder are extreme loners and rarely have any close relationships. The major characteristics of schizoid personality disorder are:
No desire for social relationships
People with schizoid personality disorder have no desire to form close relationships. They may form stablerelationships with family members or other people but they lack the ability to form close relationships.
Little or no sex drive
Individuals with this disorder have little sex drive and rarely date or marry. Men are more likely to remain single than women probably because they lack the social skills to initiate courtships. Women may passively date and marry, but will remain emotionally aloof.
Preference for solitary activities
Some people with schizoid personality disorder are very creative, especially with art in the form of painting, sculpting, drawing, etc. Art may take the place of relationships. They typically remain in low level jobs that require little interpersonal contact.
Limited range of emotions
They have a restricted range of emotions in social settings. This is often described as coldness, detachment, or flatteness. People with this disorder appear to be indifferent to compliments and criticisms. They take little or no joy in activities or in life.
Individual psychotherapy is the preferred treatment method by most people with this disorder. By getting the individual to share their art and develop the relationship from that base, a therapist may be able to establish rapport. Therapists often encourage the person to share their personal hobbies, like music or art with others. Behavior therapy, such gradual exposure to specific tasks, also called systematic desensitization, can help the person form confidence in a social setting. The therapist would probably recommend the person begin with activities which involve little socialization and advance to activities requiring more and more socialization. Group therapy may help the person build social relationships in a supportive atmosphere. Family therapy may also be helpful since people with this disorder typically remain in the house longer. However, though the person's condition may improve, most still prefer solitary activities over social ones.