Schizoid Personality Disorder


What is schizoid personality disorder?

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.

What is the difference between schizoid personality disorder and schizophrenia?

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.

What is the difference between social anxiety disorder and schizoid personality disorder?

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.

Who does schizoid personality disorder affect?

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).

How common is schizoid personality disorder?

Schizoid personality disorder is relatively uncommon. About 3.1% to 4.9% of people in the United States have this condition.

Symptoms and Causes

What are the signs and symptoms of schizoid personality disorder?

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:

  • Doesn’t want or enjoy close relationships, even with family members.
  • Chooses hobbies, activities and jobs that are solitary in nature.
  • Has little or no desire for sexual activity.
  • Rarely experiences or expresses strong emotions.
  • Has an apparent indifference to praise or criticism by others.

What causes schizoid personality disorder?

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:

  • Genetic factors: Some researchers think there may be a genetic connection between schizophrenia and schizoid personality disorder. In addition, some of the features of autism spectrum disorder resemble schizoid personality disorder, so researchers think a genetic relationship between the two might exist.
  • Environmental factors: Some studies suggest that people with schizoid personality disorder often come from environments that lack emotional nurturing. In other words, having caregivers who were emotionally cold, neglectful and detached during childhood may contribute to the development of schizoid personality disorder.

Diagnosis and Tests

How is schizoid personality disorder diagnosed?

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.

When they do seek help, it’s often due to co-existing conditions, such as anxiety or depression, not the disorder itself.

When a mental health professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist, suspects someone might have schizoid personality disorder, they often ask questions that’ll shed light on:

  • Childhood history.
  • Relationships.
  • Work history.
  • Reality testing.

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.

Management and Treatment

How is schizoid personality disorder treated?

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:

  • Family therapy: Often, people with schizoid personality disorder come to treatment at the request of family members. In some cases, family therapy may be helpful for understanding the family’s expectations for relationships and addressing any behaviors on the part of the family that could be worsening the person’s withdrawal.
  • Group therapy: This is a type of psychotherapy in which a group of people meets to describe and discuss their problems together under the supervision of a therapist or psychologist. Group therapy may help someone with schizoid personality disorder develop social skills.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): This is a structured, goal-oriented type of therapy. A therapist or psychologist helps someone take a closer look at their thoughts and emotions to understand how their thoughts affect their actions. For someone with schizoid personality disorder, a therapist may explore distorted expectations and perceptions about the importance and usefulness of relationships with others.


Can schizoid personality disorder be prevented?

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.

Outlook / Prognosis

What is the prognosis (outlook) for schizoid personality disorder?

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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