Schizoid personality disorder is frequently found to be co-morbid with substance abuse. Substance use may mask some symptoms of schizoid or, on the other hand, intensify them.

Schizoid personality disorder is relatively rare, affecting around 4 percent of the total United States population. Of this small section of the population, however, substance abuse is highly prevalent. Schizoid personality disorder occurrs with substance abuse as affected individuals attempt to self-medicate to deal with their symptoms.

Drug Abuse as a Hindrance to Schizoid Personality Disorder Treatment

Drug abuse frequently co-occurs with schizoid personality disorder, which can prevent progress with treatment.  If a person continues to use drugs, they are unlikely to be able to make the necessary changes to reduce their symptoms. In some cases, specific symptoms related to using specific drugs may even mimic traits of schizoid personality disorder or other mental health disorders, making it difficult for the clinician to provide treatment effectively.  For this reason, it is always recommended to seek substance abuse treatment first and then delve into treating the personality disorder.

Effects of Substance Abuse on Schizoid Personality Disorder

Schizoid personality disorder is frequently found to be co-morbid with substance abuse. Substance use may mask some symptoms of schizoid or, on the other hand, intensify them.

Schizoid Personality Disorder and Alcohol

Alcohol is frequently the substance of choice for people with schizoid personality disorder because of the ease of access. Those with schizoid personality disorder who drink to excess may even feel that drinking enhances their “internal life,” allowing them to enjoy their own company more thoroughly.

Schizoid Personality Disorder and Marijuana

Some have argued that marijuana use by a person with schizoid personality disorder permits their personality disorder symptoms as the detachment from others is stereotypical of the drug’s use. The increase in fulfilling inner experiences caused by marijuana use may seem to counteract some of the feelings of emptiness typically felt by someone with schizoid personality disorder.

Schizoid Personality Disorder and Stimulants

Due to the relatively low energy of people with schizoid personality disorder, patients may find they enjoy the use of stimulants as these can increase their energy levels. For some, the use of stimulants may even make them feel as if they are better able to function in society.

Treating Schizoid Personality Disorder and Co-occurring Substance Abuse

When treating co-occurring substance use disorders along with withschizoid personality disorder, it is essential first to address the substance use. The patient is better able to make positive strides in treatment and recovery if their drug use is halted. By discontinuing drug use, it will better allow an individual to focus on treating their personality disorder symptoms fully concentrate.

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is commonly used to address how thoughts, feelings, and behaviors impact each other. The use of CBT  is helpful in both addressing substance use disorder and addressing thoughts and beliefs about the outside world by the schizoid personality disorder patient.
  • The Matrix Model of treatment combines more common therapies with psycho-education and participation in self-help or peer-support groups.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse and schizoid personality disorder, help is available. At The Recovery Village, a team of professionals creates individualized treatment programs for substance use and co-occurring disorders to suit your needs. Call and speak with a representative to learn more about which program could work for you.

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Editor – Megan Hull
Megan Hull is a content specialist who edits, writes and ideates content to help people find recovery. Read more
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Medically Reviewed By – Denise-Marie Griswold, LCAS
Denise-Marie Griswold is a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist. She earned her Master's Degree in Substance Abuse and Clinical Counseling from East Carolina University in 2014. Read more
Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.