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Schizoid Personality Disorder

“Characterized by a pervasive pattern of social detachment and a restricted range of 2079410_1431095729053emotional expression. For these reasons, people with this disorder tend to be socially isolated. They don’t seem to seek out or enjoy close relationships. They almost always chose solitary activities, and seem to take little pleasure in life” (DSM-5).

This disorder is characterized by persistent avoidance of social relationships and limited emotional expression

  • People with this disorder do not have close ties with other people; they genuinely prefer to be alone
  • People with schizoid personality disorder focus mainly on themselves and are often seen as flat, cold, humorless, or dull
  • The disorder is estimated to affect fewer than 1% of the population
  • It is slightly more likely to occur in men than in women

How Do Theorists Explain Schizoid Personality Disorder?

Many psychodynamic theorists, particularly object relations theorists, link schizoid personality disorder to an unsatisfied need for human contact

  • The parents of those with the disorder are believed to have been unaccepting or abusive of their children

Cognitive theorists propose that people with schizoid personality disorder suffer from deficiencies in their thinking

  • Their thoughts tend to be vague and empty, and they have trouble scanning the environment for accurate perceptions

Treatments for Schizoid Personality Disorder

Their social withdrawal prevents most people with this disorder from entering therapy unless some other disorder makes treatment necessary

  • Even then, patients are likely to remain emotionally distant from the therapist, seem not to care about treatment, and make limited progress at best

Cognitive-behavioral therapists have sometimes been able to help people with this disorder experience more positive emotions and more satisfying social interactions

  • The cognitive end focuses on thinking about emotions
  • The behavioral end focuses on the teaching of social skills
  • Group therapy is apparently useful as it offers a safe environment for social contact
  • Drug therapy is of little benefit

Bernstein, D.A. & Nash, P.W. (2008). Essentials of psychology (4th ed.) Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Comer, R.J. (2013). Abnormal Psychology (8th ed).  Worth Publishers
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (DSM-5) American Psychiatric Publishing, 2013
Feldman, R. (2013). Essentials of understanding psychology (11th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Friedman, H.S. & Schustack, M.W. (2012), Personality: classic theories and modern research (5th ed). Boston: Pearson Allyn & Bacon.
McGraw-Hill.McGraw Hill Higher Education (2013), The McGraw Hill Companies, Inc.
Ryckman, R. M. (2013). Theories of personality (10th ed.). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.
Sue,Sue, and Sue (2014).  Understanding Abnormal Behavior (10th Ed), Cengage Learning


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