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Schizoid Personality Disorder

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What Are Personality Disorders?

People with personality disorders have long-standing patterns of thinking and acting that differ from what society considers usual or normal. The inflexibility of their personality can cause great distress, and can interfere with many areas of life, including social and work functioning. People with personality disorders generally also have poor coping skills and difficulty forming healthy relationships.

Unlike people with anxiety disorders, who know they have a problem but are unable to control it, people with personality disorders generally are not aware that they have a problem and do not believe they have anything to control. Because they often do not believe they have a disorder, people with personality disorders often do not seek treatment.

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What Is Schizoid Personality Disorder?

Schizoid personality disorder is one of a group of conditions called "Cluster 'A' " or eccentric personality disorders. People with these disorders often appear odd or peculiar. People with schizoid personality disorder also tend to be distant, detached, and indifferent to social relationships. They generally are loners who prefer solitary activities and rarely express strong emotion. Although their names sound alike and they might have some similar symptoms, schizoid personality disorder is not the same thing as schizophrenia. Many people with schizoid personality disorder are able to function fairly well, although they tend to choose jobs that allow them to work alone, such as night security officers, library, or lab workers.

What Are the Symptoms of Schizoid Personality Disorder?

People with schizoid personality disorder often are reclusive, organizing their lives to avoid contact with other people. Many never marry or may continue to live with their parents as adults. Other common traits of people with this disorder include the following:

  • They do not desire or enjoy close relationships, even with family members.
  • They choose solitary jobs and activities.
  • They take pleasure in few activities, including sex.
  • They have no close friends, except first-degree relatives.
  • They have difficulty relating to others.
  • They are indifferent to praise or criticism.
  • They are aloof and show little emotion.
  • They might daydream and/or create vivid fantasies of complex inner lives.
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