Schizoid Personality Disorder

Diagnostic criteria for 301.20 Schizoid Personality Disorder

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 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

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 (p. 641)

Associated Features and Disorders

Individuals with Schizoid Personality Disorder may have particular difficulty expressing anger, even in response to direct provocation, which contributes to the impression that they lack emotion. Their lives sometimes seem directionless, and they may appear to “drift” in their goals. Such individuals often react passively to adverse circumstances and have difficulty responding appropriately to important life events. Because of their lack of social skills and lack of desire for sexual experiences, individuals with this disorder have few friendships, date infrequently, and often do not marry. Occupational functioning may be impaired, particularly if interpersonal involvement is required, but individuals with this disorder may do well when they work under conditions of social isolation. Particularly in response to stress, individuals with this disorder may experience very brief psychotic episodes (lasting minutes to hours). In some instances, Schizoid Personality Disorder may appear as the premorbid antecedent of Delusional Disorder or Schizophrenia. Individuals with this disorder may sometimes develop Major Depressive Disorder. Schizoid Personality Disorder most often co-occurs with Schizotypal, Paranoid, and Avoidant Personality Disorders. (p. 639)

(1994) American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic And Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Association

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