Schizoid personality disorder is a mental health condition marked by a consistent pattern of detachment from and general disinterest in social relationships. People with schizoid personality disorder also have a limited range of emotions when interacting with others.
Schizoid personality disorder (ScPD) is a mental health condition marked by a consistent pattern of detachment from and general disinterest in social relationships. People with schizoid personality disorder also have a limited range of emotions when interacting with other people.
Schizoid personality disorder is one of a group of conditions called “Cluster A” personality disorders, which involve unusual and eccentric thinking or behaviors. Personality disorders are chronic (long-term) dysfunctional behavior patterns that are inflexible, prevalent and lead to social issues and distress.
People with schizoid personality disorder may seem aloof, disengaged and distant. They often don’t realize their behavior is unusual or problematic.
Schizophrenia is a range of mental health conditions that cause a significant disconnection from reality. A person with schizophrenia may experience a combination of hallucinations, delusions and extremely disorganized thinking and behavior that dramatically impairs their daily functioning.
Schizoid personality disorder doesn’t cause hallucinations or delusions, and the condition usually doesn’t significantly affect a person’s day-to-day functioning.
Social anxiety disorder (formerly known as social phobia) is a mental health condition in which a person experiences intense and persistent fear of being criticized or judged by others. To cope with this fear, they avoid social interactions or situations as much as possible.
Social anxiety disorder is distinct from schizoid personality disorder (ScPD) because people with ScPD don’t avoid social interactions due to fear of being criticized or judged. Rather, it’s due to a general disinterest in forming relationships with others.
Most personality disorders begin in the teen years when personality further develops and matures, but people with schizoid personality disorder may display signs of the condition at an earlier age.
Schizoid personality disorder is slightly more common among people assigned male at birth (AMAB).
Schizoid personality disorder is relatively uncommon. About 3.1% to 4.9% of people in the United States have this condition.
The main feature of schizoid personality disorder is a consistent pattern of detachment from and general disinterest in forming and maintaining social relationships.
A person with schizoid personality typically:
Personality disorders, including schizoid personality disorder, are among the least understood mental health conditions. Researchers are still trying to figure out the exact cause of them. So far, they suspect that the following may contribute to developing schizoid personality disorder:
Personality continues to evolve throughout childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. Because of this, healthcare providers don’t typically diagnose someone with schizoid personality disorder until after the age of 18.
Personality disorders, including schizoid personality disorder, can be difficult to diagnose, as most people with a personality disorder don’t think there’s a problem with their behavior or way of thinking and don’t think they need to change their behavior.
Because a person suspected of having schizoid personality disorder may lack insight into their behaviors, mental health professionals often work with the person’s family and friends to collect more information about their behaviors and history.
Mental health providers base a diagnosis of schizoid personality disorder on the criteria for the condition in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Unfortunately, schizoid personality disorder is one of the least researched personality disorders. Due to this, there are few treatment options and few studies on the effectiveness of treatment.
Psychotherapy (talk therapy) is generally the treatment of choice for personality disorders, but this may be difficult for people with schizoid personality disorder because they tend to intellectualize and distance themselves from emotional experiences. Since they lack interest in other people, they may not be motivated to change.
Types of psychotherapy that may benefit people with schizoid personality disorder include:
While schizoid personality disorder generally can’t be prevented, treatment can allow a person who’s prone to this condition to learn more productive ways of altering unhelpful behaviors and thoughts.
People with schizoid personality disorder (ScPD) generally live well-adjusted lives. Compared to people with other types of personality disorders, people with ScPD are less likely to experience anxiety or depression, especially if they’re not in social, educational or occupational situations that put pressure on their limited social skills.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
It’s important to remember that schizoid personality disorder (ScPD) is a mental health condition. As with all mental health conditions, seeking help as soon as symptoms appear can help decrease the disruptions to someone’s life. Mental health professionals can offer treatment plans that can help people with ScPD manage their thoughts and behaviors.
The family members of people with schizoid personality disorder often experience stress, depression and isolation. It’s important as a family member to take care of your mental health and seek help if you’re experiencing these symptoms.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/15/2022.
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