Upon hearing the term "schizoid," most people
automatically think of schizophrenia.
Schizoid Personality Disorder, or SPD for short,
is also a mental health condition,
it has almost
nothing to do with the very serious and
devastating illness schizophrenia.
interested in why the pesky word "almost" resides
in that sentence may refer to the
Personality Disorder and Schizophrenia" section
at the bottom of this page.
What is a personality disorder anyway?
Personality disorders are really not so much
disorders as they are strong personality types.
There are 10 personality disorders "officially"
recognized by psychiatrists today,
and 6 proposed others.
Every person alive shares
traits with one, several or even all of the
so-called personality disorders.
A person who is said to have a personality disorder simply exhibits
several specific personality traits more strongly than does the average person.
The crux of the matter.
So what personalities do people with SPD have?
To be exact, no two schizoids are completely alike,
but one trait they all share is reclusiveness.
Schizoids, or people with SPD, genuinely enjoy being alone,
and would like to, ideally, spend most or all of their time in solitude.
They usually have a rather brief list of activities they enjoy.
Schizoids generally do not enjoy close relationships such as friendships,
and exhibit no desire for them.
They have few real friends, if any at all, and they have little
interest in pursuing romantic and/or sexual relationships with other people.
SPD also has an affective (emotional) element to it.
Some schizoids exhibit a limited ability to feel
emotion and to take pleasure in life.
More often than not, however, schizoids simply exhibit
subdued emotions in social and interpersonal situations.
This is known as a "flattened affect."
Generally, schizoids have no such affective troubles when they are alone,
and hence have the same emotionally fulfilling lives as normal people:
they just prefer to enjoy their lives by themselves.
No two snowflakes are alike.
As previously mentioned, outside of reclusiveness,
the other SPD traits affect each individual schizoid differently.
Some schizoids may have little sex drive.
Others may have a big sex drive,
but no desire to share it with another person.
Still others would be willing to settle for sex
outside of the context of a romantic relationship.
There are even married schizoids who have gotten close to their partners
but who will naturally need more relationship "Space" than average folks.
As previously mentioned, some schizoids are less emotional than others.
Some, while having no real desire to take part in interpersonal situations,
can manage fine if they have to be in them, while other schizoids find it
always quite difficult to deal with other people.
Any of these so-called schizoid traits can be present in varying amounts.
For a psychiatric assessment of the diagnostic criteria for SPD
consult the Links Section of this Group.
Schizoids in a non-schizoid world.
Most schizoids tend to be "functional" schizoids,
in the sense that while they have personalities
that conflict with society's standards,
manage fine in society nonetheless.
schizoids aren't as lucky.
The inability to deal
with others may make it hard for some schizoids
to secure, retain, or advance in jobs.
tend to be prone to bouts of depression that can be particularly severe.
Depression for schizoids often exhibits itself as more of an "empty"
rather than a "sad" depression.
In other words, schizoids may lose their passion for things they
once enjoyed or for life in general.
They may feel empty, like they're stuck in a rut, or like
life has passed them by. The incompatibility
between the way they think and act and the way
the world works often intensifies this condition
and creates a state of utter hopelessness and emptiness.
The prominence of asocial traits, the amount of flattened affectivity
and predisposition to depression all contribute to the
difficulty "less-functional" schizoids may experience in a non-schizoid world.
As mentioned before, schizoids genuinely like being alone.
They are not loners because of some sort of social phobia
or negative feelings about self-
(these are some of the traits of Avoidant Personality Disorder).
It must also be noted that schizoids are not "antisocial" folks.
Schizoids simply like to spend time alone.
They generally like other people and enjoy being entertained by
them on TV or in movies, etc.
Most people have never heard of Schizoid
Personality Disorder, and for good reason. SPD is
a relatively rare mental health condition,
affecting about 1% of the population. Schizoids
are generally of above average intelligence, and
tend to have an INTP personality profile (though
there are plenty of schizoids with other
"introverted" personality profiles as well).
Since personality disorders work on a sliding
scale, from more mild to more severe, there is a
blurred line between people who are merely
reclusive and those who have SPD. Many famous
persons throughout history have exhibited
Some examples are;
and Isaac Newton.
Why should I care?
If you've joined this community you probably
either have SPD or are interested in learning
about it. If you do not have SPD and are learning
about it for the first time, perhaps this
information will help you to understand the
behavior of those recluses and loners you know
or perhaps will some day meet.
Holy crap, I think I might have SPD!!
If you think you have SPD but are not sure, you
can post your questions or simply consult the
"self-test"; websites provided in the
Links section of the group or listed below.
that these tests are simply based on the DSM-IV
criteria for SPD and are not in and of themselves
authoritative. They can, however, act as tools to
help you explore the facets of your personality.
Several links to Myers-Briggs Personality Type
indicators are also provided.
DSM-IV Criteria for SPD Diagnosis
ICD-10 Criteria for SPD Diagnosis
Diagnostic Tool, Personality Disorder Test
Diagnostic Tool, Online Screening
Personality Disorder Test
Online Screening for Personality Disorders
Other SPD related links:
Dual Diagnosis and the Schizoid Personality Disorder
Schizoid Personality Disorder (P-Types)
Schizoid Personality Disorder (discription+)
Information on Personality Types:
Working out your Myers Briggs type
Personality Type Indicators:
Basic Myers-Briggs Test
Temperament Sorter II
Jung Typology Test
There are many other links related to SPD
provided in the group's Links Section.
Schizoid Personality Disorder and Schizophrenia
The term "schizoid" is derived from the Greek
word "schizein," which means "split." Schizoids
tend to think of themselves as split-off from
society and attach that meaning to the term
schizoid. In reality, the origins of the terms
are a bit more complicated. A good dictionary
helps in resolving this issue. Dictionary.com
defines the term schizoid thusly:
1. Of, relating to, or having a personality
disorder marked by extreme shyness, flat affect,
reclusiveness, discomfort with others, and an
inability to form close relationships.
2. Of, relating to, or suggestive of
schizophrenia. No longer in scientific use.
As one can see, the term "schizoid" was used in
psychiatric circles to refer to something
suggestive of schizophrenia decades ago, but that
use of the term has since ceased. One may ask the
question as to why psychiatrists decided to use
the term "schizoid" to define a personality
disorder that has nothing to do with
schizophrenia. The reason is somewhat ambiguous,
but not without merit. Social withdrawal, the
inability to form close relationships, and
flattened affect are symptoms that schizophrenics
often develop. This similarity resulted in the
eventual adaptation of the term schizoid to
define a reclusive personality disorder.
Thank you and enjoy your stay,
For more information: http://www.geocities.com/schizoidyg/schizoid2M.html
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