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    Schizoid personality disorder

    Personality disorder - schizoid

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

    Causes

    Cause of schizoid personality disorderis unknown. This disorder may be related to schizophrenia and shares many of the same risk factors.

    Schizoid personality disorder is generally not as disabling as schizophrenia. It does not cause the disconnection from reality (in the form ofhallucinationsor delusions) that occurs in untreated (or treatment-resistant) schizophrenia.

    Symptoms

    A person with schizoid personality disorder often:

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

    Exams and Tests

    Schizoid personality disorder is diagnosed based on a psychological evaluation that assessesthe history and severity of the symptoms.

    Treatment

    People with this disorder rarely seek treatment,thus little is known about which treatments work. Talk therapy may not be effective because persons with schizoid personality disorder mayhave great difficulty forming an effective working relationship with a therapist.

    One approach that appears to help is to put fewer demands for emotional closeness or intimacy on the person with this condition.

    People with schizoid personality disorder often dowell in relationships that do not focus on emotional closeness. Theytend to bebetter at handling relationships that focus on work or intellectual activities and expectations.

    Outlook (Prognosis)

    Schizoid personality disorder is a long-term (chronic) illness that usually does not improve much over time. Social isolation often prevents the person from seeking the help or support that might improve the condition.

    Limiting expectations of emotional intimacy may help people with this condition make and keep connections with other people.

    References

    Blais MA, Smallwood P, Groves JE, Rivas-Vazquez RA. Personality and personality disorders. In: Stern TA, Rosenbaum JF, Fava M, Biederman J, Rauch SL, eds. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psyhchiatry. 1st ed. Philadelphia, PA:Elsevier Mosby; 2008:chap 39.

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              Review Date: 11/10/2012

              Reviewed By: David B. Merrill, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

              The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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