Schizoid personality disorder is an uncommon condition in which people avoid social activities and consistently shy away from interaction with others. They also have a limited range of emotional expression.
If you have schizoid personality disorder, you may be seen as a loner or dismissive of others, and you may lack the desire or skill to form close personal relationships. Because you don't tend to show emotion, you may appear as though you don't care about others or what's going on around you.
The cause of schizoid personality disorder is unknown. Talk therapy, and in some cases medications, can help.
If you have schizoid personality disorder, it's likely that you:
- Prefer being alone and choose to do activities alone
- Don't want or enjoy close relationships
- Feel little if any desire for sexual relationships
- Feel like you can't experience pleasure
- Have difficulty expressing emotions and reacting appropriately to situations
- May seem humorless, indifferent or emotionally cold to others
- May appear to lack motivation and goals
- Don't react to praise or critical remarks from others
Schizoid personality disorder usually begins by early adulthood, though some features may be noticeable during childhood. These features may cause you to have trouble functioning well in school, a job, socially or in other areas of life. However, you may do reasonably well in your job if you mostly work alone.
Schizotypal personality disorder and schizophrenia
Although a different disorder, schizoid personality disorder can have some similar symptoms to schizotypal personality disorder and schizophrenia, such as a severely limited ability to make social connections and a lack of emotional expression. People with these disorders may be viewed as odd or eccentric.
Even though the names may sound similar, unlike schizotypal personality disorder and schizophrenia, people with schizoid personality disorder:
- Are in touch with reality, so they're unlikely to experience paranoia or hallucinations
- Make sense when they speak (although the tone may not be lively), so they don't have conversational patterns that are strange and hard to follow
When to see a doctor
People with schizoid personality disorder usually only seek treatment for a related problem, such as depression.
If someone close to you has urged you to seek help for symptoms common to schizoid personality disorder, make an appointment with a health care or mental health professional.
If you suspect a loved one may have schizoid personality disorder, gently suggest that the person seek medical attention. It might help to offer to go along to the first appointment.
Personality is the combination of thoughts, emotions and behaviors that makes you unique. It's the way you view, understand and relate to the outside world, as well as how you see yourself. Personality forms during childhood, shaped through an interaction of inherited tendencies and environmental factors.
In normal development, children learn over time to accurately interpret social cues and respond appropriately. What causes the development of schizoid personality disorder is unknown, although a combination of genetic and environmental factors, particularly in early childhood, may play a role in developing the disorder.
Factors that increase your risk of developing schizoid personality disorder include:
- Having a parent or other relative who has schizoid personality disorder, schizotypal personality disorder or schizophrenia
- Having a parent who was cold, neglectful or unresponsive to emotional needs
People with schizoid personality disorder are at an increased risk of:
- Developing schizotypal personality disorder, schizophrenia or another delusional disorder
- Other personality disorders
- Major depression
- Anxiety disorders