You may have a physical exam to rule out other medical health problems. Then your primary care doctor may suggest that you see a mental health professional.
To find out if you have schizoid personality disorder, your mental health professional will talk with you about your symptoms and ask several questions. Also, your mental health professional likely will go over your medical and personal history.
If you have schizoid personality disorder, you may want to go your own way and not talk to others, including your doctor or other health care professionals. You may be so used to a life of not being close to anyone emotionally that you're not sure you want to change — or that you can.
You might agree to start treatment only when a relative or friend who is concerned about you urges you to do so. But working with a mental health professional who knows how to treat schizoid personality disorder can make your life much better.
Treatment options include:
- Talk therapy. If you'd like to build closer relationships, forms of cognitive behavioral therapy may help you change the beliefs and behaviors that cause problems in your relationships. A therapist knows that you need support to explore your relationships and how hard it can be to open up about your inner life. Therapists listen to you and help you work toward goals that you identify for yourself.
- Group therapy. In a group setting, you can learn how to talk with others who are also learning and practicing new social skills. In time, group therapy may provide the support needed to make your social skills better.
- Medicines. There is no specific drug to treat schizoid personality disorder. But certain drugs can help with issues such as anxiety or depression.
With proper treatment and a skilled therapist, you can make a lot of progress and improve your quality of life.
Preparing for your appointment
You're likely to start by contacting your primary care doctor. In some cases, when calling to set up an appointment, a mental health professional may be suggested right away.
Take a family member or friend along, if possible. With your OK, someone who has known you for a long time may be able to answer questions or share information with the doctor that you do not think to bring up.
Here's some information to help you prepare for your appointment.
What you can do
Before your appointment, make a list of:
- Any symptoms you or your family noticed and for how long. Ask friends or relatives if they've been worried about your behavior and what they've seen.
- Key personal information, including events that have caused distress in the past and any major stressors. Find out about your family's medical history, including any history of mental health problems.
- Your medical information, including other physical or mental health problems that you have.
- All medicines you take. Include the names and doses of any medicines, herbs, vitamins or other supplements that you take.
- Questions to ask your doctor or mental health professional to make the most of your appointment.
Some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?
- What are other possible causes?
- Is my condition likely short term or long term?
- What treatments are most likely to help me?
- If you suggest medicine, what are the possible side effects?
- Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
- How much can I expect my symptoms to improve with treatment?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Are there brochures or other printed materials that I can have? What websites do you recommend?
Do not hesitate to ask any other questions during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor or mental health professional is likely to ask you several questions. Be ready to answer them to make sure there is time to go over points you want to focus on.
Your doctor may ask:
- What problems or symptoms are you worried about?
- Have you seen your symptoms get worse at certain times? If so, when do your symptoms get worse and how do you handle that when it happens?
- Do you have close friends or family? If not, does that bother you?
- How would you describe yourself?
- Do you often choose to do things by yourself?
- Do you share your thoughts with anyone who is not in your immediate family?
- What do you like to do in your free time?
- Have you ever thought about harming yourself or others? Have you ever done so?
- Have your family members or friends been worried about your behavior?
- Have any of your close relatives been treated for mental health conditions?
- Do you drink alcohol or use drugs? If so, how often?