Schizoid Personality Disorder
Individuals with schizoid personality disorder are emotionally detached and prefer to be left alone.
Estimates of lifetime prevalence range as high as 7.5% of the general population, but because people with schizoid personality disorder are avoidant of others, they are not commonly seen in clinical practice.
There is some evidence to suggest increased prevalence of schizoid personality disorder in relatives of persons with schizophrenia or schizotypal personality disorder. Unloving or neglectful parenting is hypothesized to play a role.
History and Mental Status Examination
These people are loners. They are aloof and detached and have profound difficulty experiencing or expressing emotion. Although they prefer to be left alone and generally do not seek relationships, they may maintain an important bond with a family member.
Schizoid personality disorder can be distinguished from avoidant personality disorder (see below) and social phobia by the fact that schizoid individuals do not desire relationships. Avoidant and socially phobic persons desire and may seek relationships, but their anxiety handicaps their capacity to achieve relatedness. Schizophrenia, autistic disorder, and Asperger’s disorder (a less severe variant of autism) are also differential diagnostic conditions.
Revision date: June 20, 2011
Last revised: by Sebastian Scheller, MD, ScD