Schizoid personality disorder

Alternative names 
Personality disorder - schizoid

Definition
Schizoid personality disorder is a psychiatric condition characterized by a lifelong pattern of indifference to others and social isolation.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Personality disorders are chronic behavioral and relationship patterns that intefere with a person’s life over many years. The cause of schizoid personality disorder is unknown and estimates of its incidence vary.

This disorder may be associated with schizophrenia and shares many of the same risk factors. However, schizoid personality disorder is not as profoundly disabling as schizophrenia, since it is not marked by hallucinations, delusions, or the complete disconnection from reality that occurs in untreated (or treatment-resistant) schizophrenia.

Symptoms
A person with schizoid personality disorder:

     
  • Does not desire nor enjoy close relationships, even with family members  
  • Avoids social activities that involve significant interpersonal contact  
  • Appears aloof and detached

Signs and tests

People with schizoid personality disorder are loners and show little interest in developing close relationships.

Treatment

Individuals with this disorder rarely seek treatment, and little is known about successful therapies. Talk therapy may be ineffective because people with schizoid personality disorder have difficulty relating well to others.

Expectations (prognosis)

Schizoid personality disorder is a chronic illness with a poor prognosis. The social isolation characteristic of the disorder often prevents others from offering the help or support that could potentially improve the outcome.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 5, 2012
by Potos A. Aagen, M.D.

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