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Schizoid personality disorder

Definition:

Schizoid personality disorder is a psychiatric condition in which a person has a lifelong pattern of indifference to others and social isolation.



Alternative Names:

Personality disorder - schizoid



Causes, incidence, and risk factors:

Personality disorders are patterns of behaviors and relationships that interfere with a person's life over many years. The cause of schizoid personality disorder is unknown. Estimates of its incidence vary.

This disorder may be associated with schizophrenia and shares many of the same risk factors. However, schizoid personality disorder is not as disabling as schizophrenia, because it does not cause hallucinations , delusions, or the complete disconnection from reality that occurs in untreated (or treatment-resistant) schizophrenia.



Symptoms:

A person with schizoid personality disorder:

  • Appears aloof and detached
  • Avoids social activities that involve significant contact with other people
  • Does not want or enjoy close relationships, even with family members


Signs and tests:

People with schizoid personality disorder are loners and show little interest in developing close relationships.



Treatment:

People with this disorder rarely seek treatment, and little is known about which treatments work. Talk therapy may not be effective, because people with schizoid personality disorder have difficulty relating well to others.



Support Groups:



Expectations (prognosis):

Schizoid personality disorder is a chronic illness with a poor outlook. The social isolation of the disorder often prevents the person from seeking the help or support that could potentially improve the outcome.



Complications:



Calling your health care provider:



Prevention:



References:

Moore DP, Jefferson JW. Schizoid personality disorder. In: Moore DP, Jefferson JW, eds. Handbook of Medical Psychiatry. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2004: chap 135.




Review Date: 10/17/2008
Reviewed By: Linda Vorvick, MD, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Timothy A. Rogge, MD, private practice in Psychiatry, Kirkland, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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