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Schizoid personality disorder has a complicated past. It was originally conceptualized as the personality type associated with schizophrenia. However, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders states that schizoid personality disorder should not be diagnosed if the pattern of behavior occurs exclusively during the course of schizophrenia. But this does not mean that the two cannot co-occur. Schizoid personality disorder most often co-occurs with schizotypal, paranoid, and avoidance personality disorders. At the turn of the twentieth century, schizoid personality disorder was described as a trait-like variant of schizophrenia. Others described it as "shut-in personality," "schizoidie," and even as "autistic personality." The term schizoid was also used in broader terms to identify socially withdrawn patients who had great difficulty with intimacy and peculiar behavior now associated with schizotypal personality disorder.
However schizoid personality disorder can be differentiated from other disorders. Schizoid personality disorder is different from schizotypal personality disorder in that schizotypal personality disorder lacks the cognitive and perceptual distortions that are associated with schizoid personality disorder. It can be distinguished from paranoid personality disorder by the lack of suspiciousness and paranoid ideation. The social isolation of schizoid personalities can be distinguished from that of avoidant personalities by a lack of fear of being embarrassed or found inadequate and an excessive anticipation of rejection. It can be distinguished from autistic disorder but not easily. Milder forms of autistic disorder are very similar to schizoid personality disorder, so differentiation is very difficult. This is also true for asperger's disorder. However, they can be differentiated. Their symptoms both exhibit more severely impaired social interaction and stereotyped behaviors and interests. Schizophrenia and delusional disorder can also be distinguished from schizoid personality disorder. The formers are characterized by a period of persistent psychotic symptoms, such as delusions and hallucinations. Schizoid personality disorder must have been present before the onset of psychotic symptoms and must persist when the psychotic symptoms are in remission for it to actually be schizoid personality disorder.
The diagnostic criteria for schizoid personality disorder offers a list of symptoms which the individual must have four or more of to be diagnosed with schizoid personality disorder. The list comprises of (1) a lack of desire and enjoyment of close relationships, including being part of a family, (2) an inclination for solitary activities, (3) little if any interest in sexual experiences with another person, (4) experiences 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, and (7) shows emotional coldness, detachment, or flattened affectivity.
The definition of schizoid personality disorder has varied greatly in the different editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It was previously broadly defined, but now it is divided into three different categories: schizoid, avoidant and schizotypal personality disorders. Now the Manual defines schizoid personality disorder as a pervasive pattern of detachment from social relationships and a restricted range of expression of emotions in interpersonal settings, which begins by early adulthood. This definition describes an important and essential feature of schizoid personality disorder. This is because the pattern of detachment from social settings and restricted range of expression of emotions lead to a lack of desire for intimacy and close relationships. This means that schizoid personalities usually do not have any close friends or confidants. The only people a schizoid personality will confide in is a first degree relative, as evidenced by the case study of Raymond A., who confided in his mother. However, schizoid personalities do not seem to get any satisfaction from being part of a social group such as a family.
Schizoid personalities prefer to spend time by themselves, rather than spending time with other people. This is why they choose solitary activities or hobbies that do not involve interaction with other people, such as reading books. They also have a propensity for mechanical or abstract tasks, such as computer or mechanical games. However, schizoid personalities still derive little pleasure from few activities.
One possible reason for this lack of interest or pleasure in activities may stem from a reduced experience of pleasure from sensory, bodily or interpersonal settings. This is the reason that an individual with schizoid personality may not get the same feelings from walking down the beach during sunset or having sex as a person without schizoid personality d
Health Conditions mentioned in this term paper
schizoid personality disorder, schizotypal personality disorder,
Keywords referenced in this term paper
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