Schizoid personality disorder causes a person to withdraw socially from others. People with this disorder may appear to be shy and quiet. Unlike people with normal shyness or social anxiety, however, schizoid personalities actually have no interest in interacting with other people. They prefer to be alone, are detached from others and are typically emotionally unresponsive.
Diagnosis of schizoid personality disorder is particularly difficult because the symptoms of indifference, social withdrawal and lack of emotions can be attributed to other disorders, such as autism or Asperger’s syndrome. The disorder’s symptoms also resemble those of other conditions on the schizophrenic spectrum: schizophrenia and schizotypal personality disorder.
Even though schizoid personality disorder is on the schizophrenic spectrum, people with the disorder still have a firm grip on reality, unlike those with full-blown schizophrenia. Schizoid symptoms are also less severe than those of schizotypal personality disorder.
Schizoid Personality Test
A proper diagnosis of schizoid personality disorder must be made by a mental-health professional and may involve both an interview and a “schizoid test.” While no lab or blood test for schizoid personality disorders exists, personality disorder tests or quizzes may help determine if someone has schizoid personality disorder or another condition.
Possible schizoid personality tests or assesment tools include:
- Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI-II)
- Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2)
- Rorschach Psychodiagnostic Test
- Thematic Apperception Test (TAT).
In addition, the patient may be subjected to a physical exam to rule out any medical causes of the schizoid symptoms.
Schizoid Personality Criteria
The American Psychiatric Association’s “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (DSM) includes seven key symptoms of schizoid personality disorder. A person must have at least four of these seven symptoms in order to be diagnosed with schizoid personality disorder:
- Avoidance of close relationships; little to no interest in developing personal relationships with others
- Emotional detachment; unable or unwilling to show emotion or express concern for others
- Indifference to praise, criticism or others’ opinions
- Lack of close friends; poorly developed social skills
- Little interest in sexual activity and experiences with other people
- Pleasure from few, if any, activities
- Preference for solitude; tendency to choose activities that don’t involve other people, such as puzzles, math or computer games.
If the above symptoms are due to schizophrenia or a developmental or psychotic disorder, a diagnosis of schizoid personality disorder isn’t appropriate. As with all personality disorders, a person must be at least 18 years old in order to receive a diagnosis of schizoid personality disorder.
Encyclopedia of Mental Health. (2010). Schizoid personality disorder. Retrieved October 19, 2010, from http://www.minddisorders.com/Py-Z/Schizoid-personality-disorder.html
Grohol, J. M. (2010). Schizoid personality disorder. Retrieved October 19, 2010, from http://psychcentral.com/disorders/sx30.htm
Mayo Clinic. (2008). Schizoid personality disorder. Retrieved October 19, 2010, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/schizoid-personality-disorder/DS00865