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Symptoms of Schizoid Personality Disorder

Rashmi Nemade, Ph.D. & Mark Dombeck, Ph.D.

People with Schizoid personality disorder are indifferent to society. They tend to be lifelong loners who come across as emotionally flat, cold or distant. They tend to be reclusive, preferring solitary activities to social ones. They have few social contacts other than with relatives, and they almost never develop intimate relationships - romantic or otherwise. Although schizoid personality disordered people share some negative symptoms in common with some people who have schizophrenia, they do not go on to exhibit truly psychotic behavior.

The following diagnostic criteria must be met before a diagnosis of Schizoid Personality Disorder is warranted, according to the DSM-IV-TR:

A) A pervasive pattern of detachment from social relationships and a restricted range of expression of emotions in interpersonal settings, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by four (or more) of the following:

  1. neither desires nor enjoys close relationships, including being a part of a family
  2. almost always chooses solitary activities
  3. has little, if any, interest in having sexual experiences with another person
  4. takes pleasure in few, if any, activities
  5. lacks close friends or confidants other than first-degree relatives
  6. appears indifferent to the praise or criticism of others
  7. shows emotional coldness, detachment, or flattened affectivity

B) Does not occur exclusively during the course of Schizophrenia, a Mood Disorder With Psychotic Features, another Psychotic Disorder, or a Pervasive Developmental Disorder and is not due to the direct physiological effects of a general medical condition.