The most obvious schizoid personality disorder symptoms are social withdrawal and a lack of emotional responsiveness. According to the Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders (2010), this is the least commonly diagnosed personality disorder, affecting roughly 1 percent of the population. It is more prevalent in men than in women.
Schizoid personality disorder is part of the schizophrenic spectrum, which includes schizotypal personality disorder and schizophrenia. However, schizoid personality disorder symptoms don’t include the delusions or paranoia associated with schizophrenia. People with schizoid personality disorder may be detached from other people, but they are still connected to reality.
What is Schizoid Personality Disorder?
Individuals with schizoid personality disorder appears aloof and typically have little to no interest in social relationships. They may appear to be extremely shy and avoid large groups of people. Someone with schizoid personality disorder may be described as a “loner.”
Schizoid personality disorder patients commonly appear dull and uninterested in what’s going on around them. These individuals have a difficult time expressing emotion–particularly anger–and may appear to be self-absorbed, lacking in concern for others. They tend to speak and move slowly.
Despite these social difficulties, an individual with schizoid personality disorder may get married. However, this relationship is usually difficult, as the individual is unable to connect intimately and often has little to no interest in sexual relations due to the personality disorder. Schizoid personality disorder may also contribute to problems in the workplace, as people with this disorder don’t function well in environments that require social interaction.
Signs of Schizoid Personality Disorder
The seven key schizoid personality traits include:
- Absence of pleasure in most activities
- Avoidance of sexual relations
- Emotional detachment
- Few close relationships
- Indifference to both praise and criticism
- Lack of close friends
- Preference of solitude.
In addition to the main signs of schizoid personality disorder, the following schizoid personality traits may also be present:
- Difficulty responding to normal social cues
- Dull or indifferent appearance
- Feelings of discomfort or restlessness
- Quiet, inexpressive demeanor
- Tendency to follow rather than lead in a group setting
- Underperformance at work or in school.
Although symptoms can appear as early as childhood, schizoid personality disorder is only diagnosed in adults. Schizoid personality disorder symptoms tend to be strongest in young adults, easing in intensity as a person ages.
Encyclopedia of Mental Health. (2010). Schizoid personality disorder. Retrieved October 14, 2010, from http://www.minddisorders.com/Py-Z/Schizoid-personality-disorder.html
Grohol, J. M. (2010). Schizoid personality disorder. Retrieved October 14, 2010, from http://psychcentral.com/disorders/sx30.htm
Mayo Clinic. (2008). Schizoid personality disorder. Retrieved October 14, 2010, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/schizoid-personality-disorder/DS00865