What is Schizoid Personality Disorder?
People with schizoid personality disorder exhibit a marked lack of emotion, lack of motivation, and almost no desire to form relationships with others. Healthy people may experience short periods a couple of times in their lives where they feel no emotion, motivation, or desire to engage with others. But individuals with schizoid personality disorder have a long-term and persistent pattern of indifference, detachment from society, and a very limited range of emotions. This can make schizoid personality disorder treatment very difficult.
Schizoid Personality Disorder – The Odd and Eccentric
Schizoid personality disorder is one of the three disorders in the Cluster A group, known as the odd or eccentric personality disorders. People with schizoid personality disorder may seem strange or peculiar. They are distant and aloof, especially when it comes to relationships. They prefer solitary activities to those that involve others. If you know someone like this, you might think of him or her as an eccentric loner. (Read: Famous People with Schizoid Personality Disorder)
Individuals with schizoid personality disorder rarely express intense or strong emotion, regardless of the situation or circumstance. For example, if one of your loved ones died in a tragic accident, you'd express deep sadness. You might reach out to others to help you cope with and move through the emotional pain surrounding an event like this. Someone with schizoid personality disorder, upon hearing the same news, would display very little or no strong emotion at all in response to it.
Causes of Schizoid Personality Disorder
As with many mental disorders, researchers don't have a clear understanding of the causes of schizoid personality disorder. Some scientists theorize that it is related to schizophrenia. Schizoid personality disorder isn't as disabling as schizophrenia and, unlike schizophrenia, does not result in a disconnection from reality.
Most experts agree that schizoid personality disorder, like many mental health disorders, is caused by a combination of genetics and social environment during early development. Studies have shown that psychological temperment, shaped by upbringing and learned coping skills, along with biological (genetic) predisposition play a critical role in development of the disorder.
It's likely that no single factor is responsible; rather the disorder develops as a result of a complex matrix involving nature, nurture, and environment.
Last Updated: 20 July 2016
Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD