People with schizoid personality disorderr avoid forming personal relationships and social situations, and rather than simply avoiding forming personal connections with others, they have a marked inability to do so. People who have this disorder are also unable to express strong emotions, even though they are capable of feeling them.
Symptoms of Schizoid Personality Disorder
One of the most obvious of the signs and symptoms of schizoid personality disorder is that someone with this condition strenuously avoids contact with others. It is common for people with this disorder to remain single their entire lives, and to live alone, or continue living with their parents after reaching adulthood.
People with this disorder are also likely to have any or all of the following symptoms and signs.
- Do not seek out close relationships with others, including family members.
- Usually able to form relationships only with close family members such as parents and siblings.
- Do not have any close friends and do not confide in others.
- Have no apparent interest in a sexual relationship with another person, or in taking part in sexual activities.
- Habitually choose solitary activities, but do not appear to take pleasure in any of them.
- Do not display any emotion, or any extreme emotion. For example, the person is unlikely to be outwardly affected by hearing good or bad news, or by an event such as the death of a relative.
Unlike other types of mental health disorders, people with schizoid personality disorder are usually able to function well in everyday life, provided they are able to maintain distance from other people. For example, they are capable of working, but almost always choose jobs where they can work alone.
Who gets this Disorder?
Schizoid personality disorder symptoms tend to start appearing during early adulthood, in the very late teens or early twenties. While this is the most common age for the disorder to develop, it is not uncommon for children to display certain signs and tendencies that indicate the possibility of developing the condition later in life. Men are more likely to develop this disorder than women.
Although the causes of this disorder are unknown, it is believed that environment and genetics both play a causative role. For example, someone who has a close relative with schizophrenia has an increased risk of having schizoid personality disorder, suggesting the existence of genetic risk factors.
Some researchers also suggest that schizoid personality disorder is actually a mild form of schizophrenia. This is because the two disorders are similar in the way they affect a person’s ability to express emotion and interact with other people. However, people with schizoid personality disorder do not have the distortion of perception or disconnect from reality that characterizes schizophrenia.
National Institute of Health MedlinePlus: Schizoid Personality Disorder
The Cleveland Clinic Foundation: Schizoid Personality Disorder
The Mayo Clinic: Schizoid Personality Disorder
UK PsychNet: Schizoid Personality Disorder Information Sheet