Schizoid Personality Disorder 2010

Schizoid Personality Disorder 2010 - The Neuron
ClassificationPersonality Disorder
(direct quote)
A. A pervasive pattern of detachment from social relationships and a restricted range of expression of emotions in interpersonal settings, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by four (or more) of the following:
(1) neither desires nor enjoys close relationships, including being part of a family
(2) almost always chooses solitary activities
(3) has little, if any, interest in having sexual experiences with another person
(4) takes pleasure in few, if any, activities
(5) lacks close friends or confidants other than first-degree relatives
(6) appears indifferent to the praise or criticism of others
(7) shows emotional coldness, detachment, or flattened activity
DescriptionThe term "schizoid" means "split-off"7, and refers to the person being split off from society. They are comfortable not being socially or sexually active, and are very absorbed in themselves.

This disorder affects more men than it does women, and there is more of a chance that a person has it if his/her relatives have schizophrenia.3 It is also more common in poorer people and minorities7.

People with schizoid personality disorder seem detached and distant when it comes to social relationships. These people do not know that they have a disorder (unlike people with anxiety disorders, who often know but can't help it).

The symptoms of this disorder usually begin appearing in early adulthood.

Known Causes

Not much is known for sure about the causes of schizoid personality disorder. However, psychologists generally agree that both nature and nurture play a role into causing this disorder. Most psychologists argue that the causes can be traced back to early childhood. A person with this personality disorder could have had a parent who didn't carress him as a child with love. Also, it's generally accepted that a family history (genetics) can contribute to the chances of getting the disorder. A person with a parent with any disorder in the schizophrenic family has increased changed of developing schizoid personality disorder.2 As of now, there is no known method of preventing the disease.3
(direct quote)
List of symptoms:
  • They do not desire or enjoy close relationships, even with family members.
  • They choose solitary jobs and activities.
  • They take pleasure in few activities, including sex.
  • They have no close friends, except first-degree relatives.
  • They have difficulty relating to others.
  • They are indifferent to praise or criticism.
  • They are aloof and show little emotion.
  • They might daydream and/or create vivid fantasies of complex inner lives.3

List of TreatmentsAccording to Cleveland Clinic, people with this disorder rarely seek treatment because in their minds, they don't feel distressed. They have an inability to form relationships, which makes it hard for therapists to get them to talk freely.

One method of counseling is psychotherapy, which is the most commonly used treatment for schizoid personality disorder. 3 The treatment focuses on increasing coping skills, and improving social interaction, communication, and self-esteem.

It is not common for schizoid personality disorder patients to be prescribed medicine. But it is possible if the person suffering from this disease is also suffering from an associated psychological problem.
Case StudyThe following is reproduced from

The Schizoid Patient - A Case Study
Written by Dr. Sam Vaknin

Oct 01, 2009
Not only symptoms of Schizoid Personality Disorder, but traits that characterize person diagnosed with Schizoid Personality Disorder. Notes of first therapy session with Mark, male, 36, diagnosed with Schizoid Personality Disorder
Mark sits where instructed, erect but listless. When I ask him how he feels about attending therapy, he shrugs and mumbles "OK, I guess". He rarely twitches or flexes his muscles or in any way deviates from the posture he has assumed early on. He reacts with invariable, almost robotic equanimity to the most intrusive queries on my part. He shows no feelings when we discuss his uneventful childhood, his parents ("of course I love them"), and sad and happy moments he recollects at my request. No Iframes
Mark veers between being bored with our encounter and being annoyed by it. How would he describe his relationships with other people? He has none that he can think of. In whom does he confide? He eyes me quizzically: "confide?" Who are his friends? Does he have a girlfriend? No. He shares pressing problems with his mother and sister, he finally remembers. When was the last time he spoke to them? More than two years ago, he thinks.
He doesn't seem to feel uneasy when I probe into his sex life. He smiles: no, he is not a virgin. He has had sex once with a much older woman who lived across the hall in his apartment block. That was the only time, he found it boring. He prefers to compile computer programs and he makes nice money doing it. Is he a member of a team? He involuntarily recoils: no way! He is his own boss and likes to work alone. He needs his solitude to think and be creative.
That's precisely why he is here: his only client now insists that he collaborates with the IT department and he feels threatened by the new situation. Why? He ponders my question at length and then: "I have my working habits and my long-established routines. My productivity depends on strict adherence to these rules." Has he ever tried to work outside his self-made box? No, he hasn't and has no intention of even trying it: "If it works don't fix it and never argue with success."
If he is such a roaring success what is he doing on my proverbial couch? He acts indifferent to my barb but subtly counterattacks: "Thought I'd give it a try. Some people go to one type of witch doctor, I go to another."
Does he have any hobbies? Yes, he collects old sci-fi magazines and comics. What gives him pleasure? Work does, he is a workaholic. What about his collections? "They are distractions". But do they make him happy, does he look forward to the time he spends with them? He glowers at me, baffled: " I collect old magazines." - he explains patiently - "How are old magazines supposed to make me happy?".
This article appears in my book, "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited"8
Videos & Pictures5Schizoid Personality Disorder 2010 - The Neuron6
Related Disorders
  • Schizotypal personality disorder
  • Paranoid personality disorder
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Histrionic personality disorder
  • Narcissistic personality disorder
  • Avoidant personality disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
Relevant Links (10)
WAPA1) American Psychiatric Association (1994). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-IV. 4th ed. Washington: Author.
2) Mayo Clinic, Initials. (2008, December 9). Schizoid personality disorder. Retrieved from
3) Cleveland Clinic, Initials. (2005, June 27). Schizoid personality disorder. Retrieved from
4) Akhtar, S. Schizoid Personality Disorder: A Synthesis of Developmental, Dynamic, and Descriptive Features. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 151:499-518, 1987.
5) Hahn, R. (2009). Schizoid personality disorder [Television series episode]. In (Executive producer), Videojug. Youtube. Retrieved from
6) Wellsphere, Initials. (Photographer). (2009). Understanding bullies. [Web]. Retrieved from;jsessionid=A4150A9111A0F46F3EB40B9512AEA37C?query=Avoidant+Personality+Disorder
7) Beoree, G. (2007). Personality disorders. Retrieved from
8) Vaknin, S. (2009). The Schizoid patient: a case study. Retrieved from

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