Schizoid Personality Disorder
Disinterest in social interactions and limited expression of emotions
Information on Schizoid Personality Disorder – presentation, symptoms and treatment.
Schizoid Personality Disorder beliefs, emotions and behaviour
Someone with schizoid characteristics is likely to have unclear thought processes and will struggle to understand how they should act around others. Beliefs and thoughts about situations will be practical rather than emotional. The person may view relationships with others as unwanted, intrusive and complicating their lives.
Missing Interpersonal Ability:
Intimacy; empathy; positive affect
These individuals are unlikely to report strong emotions, either positive (love, happiness) or negative (anger, sadness). They can appear to have a lack of interest in social relationships and other people. They can come across as boring, dull and distant and with a lack of warmth towards others. A schizoid personality can mean the person experiences few pleasures in life and does not respond to praise, criticism or emotions from others. They may choose solitary activities and can show an emotional coldness or detachment.
I am self sufficient, aloneBeliefs about self
Others are intrusive and not neededBeliefs about others
The world should be avoidedBeliefs about the world
How is Schizoid different from Schizotypal and Avoidant Personality Disorder?
This Personality Disorder is different to the schizotypal type because the person does not have any of the psychotic symptoms. They are different to Avoidant Personality Disorder as avoidant people have a need for intimacy and a sensitivity to rejection. However, because schizoid characteristics are found in these two PDs as well, this can make it hard to distinguish the three types. There is also an overlap with diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome.
What is the diagnosis criteria for Schizoid Personality Disorder?
The DSM V criteria is a persistent pattern of disinterest from social interactions and a limited variety of expression of emotions in a close personal settings. This starts in early adulthood and must be shown by at least four (or more) of the following:
- neither wants nor likes close relationships, counting being part of a family
- almost constantly picks introverted activities
- has little if any, thought in engaging in any sexual experiences
- seldom derives pleasure from any activities
- has no close friends other than immediate relatives
- appears apathetic to the admiration or disapproval of others
- shows emotional coldness, detachment, or flattened affectivity
There is very limited research into the most effective therapy for Schizoid Personality Disorder. This is generally believed to be because individuals with this personality pattern do not experience loneliness or negative reactions to interpersonal situations and so are less likely to seek out therapy.
Therapy that allows the individual to build up a long term trusting relationship with the therapist may be most beneficial to model what these can be like. It is also important to focus on small goals that focus on current concerns in their life. CBT therapy may help with this or longer-term psychotherapy.