Schizoid Personality Disorder

 

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Schizoids enjoy nothing and seemingly never experience pleasure (they are anhedonic). Even their nearest and dearest often describe them as "automata", "robots", or "machines". But the schizoid is not depressed or dysphoric, merely indifferent. Schizoids are uninterested in social relationships and bored or puzzled by interpersonal interactions. They are incapable of intimacy and have a very limited range of emotions and affect. Rarely does the schizoid express feelings, either negative (anger) or positive (happiness).

Schizoids never pursue an opportunity to develop a close relationship. Schizoids are asexual - not interested in sex. Consequently, they appear cold, aloof, bland, stunted, flat, and "zombie"-like. They derive no satisfaction from belonging to a close-knit group: family, church, workplace, neighborhood, or nation. They rarely marry or have children.

Schizoids are loners. Given the option, they invariably pursue solitary activities or hobbies. Inevitably, they prefer mechanical or abstract tasks and jobs that require such skills. Many computer hackers, crackers, and programmers are schizoids, for instance - as are some mathematicians and theoretical physicists. Schizoids are inflexible in their reactions to changing life circumstances and developments - both adverse and opportune. Faced with stress they may disintegrate, decompensate, and experience brief psychotic episodes or a depressive illness.

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Schizoids have few friends or confidants. They trust only first-degree relatives - but, even so, they maintain no close bonds or associations, not even with their immediate family.

Schizoids pretend to be indifferent to praise, criticism, disagreement, and corrective advice (though, deep inside, they are not). They are creatures of habit, frequently succumbing to rigid, predictable, and narrowly restricted routines. From the outside, the schizoid's life looks "rudderless" and adrift.

Like people with Asperger's Syndrome, schizoids fail to respond appropriately to social cues and rarely reciprocate gestures or facial expressions, such as smiles. As the DSM-IV-TR puts it, "they seem socially inept or superficial and self-absorbed". Some narcissists are also schizoids.

Read Notes from the therapy of a Schizoid Patient


Many additional Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Personality Disorders - click HERE!


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