The Nature and Characteristics of Schizoid
Sonoma State University
Eugen Bleuler first used the term “Schizoid” in 1908 and described it as “...a human tendency to direct attention toward one's inner life and away from the external world”. Schizoid Personality Disorder (SPD) is characterized by a lack of interest in any form of social relationship, a solitary lifestyle, and secretness. People with SPD are often indifferent, which can cause interpersonal difficulty. Individuals with the disorder may have trouble voicing their opinions when faced with unfavorable situations, and most often remain passive about many issues. Communication with others can be awkward and lack sincere meaning. As a result, they are not able to accurately understand how others think of them, and know how well they are getting along with others. This can lead to a feeling of severe self-consciousness and paranoia.
Schizoid Personality Disorder:
The Nature of Schizoid Personality Disorder
The American Psychiatric Association (2008) reports that the prevalence in the general population of schizoid personality disorder (SPD) in the general population is less than 2%. Other studies have found a community prevalence of 5.1% in the United States. There is an increased prevalence of schizoid personality disorder in relatives of people with schizophrenia, as well as those who have been sexually abused as a child. The DSM classifies Schizoid Personality Disorder as:
“A. A pervasive pattern of detachment from social relationships and a restricted range of expression of emotions in interpersonal settings, beginning by early adulthood (age eighteen or older) and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by four (or more) of the following:
Neither desires nor enjoys relationships or human interaction, including being part of a family Almost always chooses solitary activities
Has little, if any, interest in having sexual experiences with another person Takes pleasure in few, if any, activities with other people
Lacks close friends or confidants other than first-degree relatives Appears indifferent to the praise or criticism of others
Shows emotional coldness, detachment, or flattened affect
B. 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.” Though there are several methods of treatment, most doctors suggest a short-term therapy/medication treatment, as long term can be difficult for the patient to remain motivated to continue returning and having unwanted social interaction. Seeing a psychologist allows the patient to open up and possibly become more comfortable with interpersonal communication, enabling a more personable identity. Those with SPD may demonstrate a vivid and wild fantasy life, and attain hobbies according to such. Things like video games, drawing, photography, and other solo activities are what interest SPD victims the most. Someone with SPD doesn't go out to social events, have intimate relationships, or even have many friends. Social interaction like that just isn't appealing to patients with SPD. They may never live a completely normal life with friends, a spouse, and other people to communicate with. However, this does not mean they aren't happy. People with Schizoid rarely ever describe their life as “dull” or “boring”. Some patients tell of the immense pleasure they receive when making a job well done and finishing their work. Many are workaholics, and pour their heart and soul into every step of their careers. People with SPD are much more of a benefit to our society than some people may realize. Without the constant distraction of friends, relationships, and social events, they are...