Schizoid personality disorder is not the same as schizophrenia, though they share a few symptoms. It is found that people with schizoid personality disorder tend to function better than people with schizophrenia. Individuals with schizoid personality disorder symptoms do not experience “disconnection from reality,” which is a characteristic of schizophrenia.
The top five schizoid personality disorder symptoms are:
- Appearing distant and detached
- Appearing dull and humorless
- Engaging in excessive daydreaming including creating vivid fantasies of complex inner lives
- Not wanting and avoiding close relationships, including those with family
- Being indifferent to praise or criticism and exhibiting little observable change in mood
People suffering from schizoid personality disorder are not depressed, but indifferent. They do not show emotions of happiness, anger, or sorrow. This limits others from understanding what is going on inside their minds. Usually preferring to be followers rather than leaders in group situations, schizoid personality disorder patients underperform at school and work. Most comfortable on their own, these patients engage in solitary pursuits. Some may even become peripherally involved in fads, philosophical movements, and so on. Research indicates that such individuals may have little interest in forming sexual relations with others and may be found living with parents even as adults. In short, the disorder is marked by emotional coldness, detachment, and long-term social withdrawal.
A formal diagnosis of schizoid personality disorder can be made by psychiatrists and mental health professionals. A clinician has to make precise personality disorder diagnosis to differentiate schizoid personality disorder symptoms from disorders showing near-identical or similar symptoms. These disorders could include schizophrenia and mood disorder with psychotic features, autism and/or asperger's, avoidant, paranoid, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, and symptoms related to chronic substance use.
American psychologist Theodore Millon contends that this disorder has four sub-types, with an individual exhibiting none or one of the following: languid (with depressive aspects), remote (with avoidant, schizotypal characteristics), depersonalized (with schizotypal characteristics), and affectless (with compulsive characteristics).
According to schizoid disorder case studies, other personality disorders (e.g., schizotypal, paranoid, avoidant) can exist along with schizoid personality disorder symptoms. There is also an increased risk for such patients to develop a major depressive disorder. Although researchers have postulated a number of theories, schizoid disorder causes remain unknown.
Genetic and environmental factors both come into play for schizoid personality disorder. Some mental health professionals speculate that a bleak childhood lacking in warmth and emotion contributes to this disorder’s development.
Some schizoid disorder case studies suggest patients may be unable to respond to normal social cues, making them inept at initiating or maintaining relationships. The literature does indicate a slightly increased rate of schizoid personality disorder among first-degree relatives of schizophrenia or schizotypal personality disorder patients. However, the familial pattern link remains ambiguous.
Many researchers contend that schizoid disorder signs typically appear in adolescence or late childhood. Others maintain that the onset is in early childhood with some schizoid personality disorder symptoms appearing in childhood, continuing through adolescence, and into early adulthood.
The defining schizoid personality disorder symptom is the desire for social isolation. This is usually in conjunction with a diminished range of emotional expression and experience, all of which may be present in a variety of contexts.
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