Mental Help Net
Basic Information
What is Schizophrenia?Schizophrenia Symptoms and DiagnosisSchizophrenia TreatmentSchizophrenia References
Latest NewsQuestions and AnswersBlog EntriesVideosLinksBook Reviews
Therapist Search
Find a Therapist:
 (USA/CAN only)

Use our Advanced Search to locate a therapist outside of North America.

Related Topics

Anxiety Disorders
Depression: Depression & Related Conditions
Personality Disorders
Addictions: Alcohol and Substance Abuse

Symptoms of Schizoid Personality Disorder

Rashmi Nemade, Ph.D. & Mark Dombeck, Ph.D., edited by Kathryn Patricelli, MA Updated: Mar 20th 2017

person on bench People with Schizoid personality disorder are detached from society. They tend to be lifelong loners who come across as emotionless, cold or distant. They tend to prefer activities by themselves, rather than ones that involve others. They have few social interactions other than with relatives. They almost never develop intimate romantic relationships or even friendships. Although they share some negative symptoms in common with some people who have schizophrenia, they do not experience the psychotic behavior of hallucinations, delusions and loss of reality.

To be diagnosed with this disorder, a person must display four or more of the following symptoms:

  • Doesn't want or enjoy close relationships, including being a part of a family
  • almost always chooses solitary activities
  • has little or no interest in sexual experiences with another person
  • takes pleasure in few, if any, activities
  • doesn't have any close friends other than first-degree relatives (parents and siblings)
  • doesn't seem to be affected by the praise or criticism of others
  • shows emotional coldness, detachment, or very little emotion

These symptoms must not happen only as part of Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or major depressive disorder with psychotic features, another psychotic disorder, or autism spectrum disorder. They must also not be caused by another general medical condition.


Reader Comments
Discuss this issue below or in our forums.

Help for son - Sue - Dec 6th 2013

My son is 29 has all theses symptoms.  He has been a loner all his life, I thought it was due to his ADHD, but recently he has been paranoid, aggressive and very agitated.  We were planning a move but he seemed on board for the move, then it happened, he pushed me, then on moving day he refused to get in car, said I was setting him up, for what I don't know.  Bottom line, he is out on the streets, in the cold, he has never taken care of himself, he has always been dependent on me.  My biggest fear is that he will either starve or freeze to death, ( God Forbid).   The police dI'd pick him up, put him in a hospital put him on meds too.  But then they told me he refused to come out of his room, would not talk to anybody, so they put him in a cab & sent him to the local DSS.   That I don't understand at all.  This is my son, I am worried sick about him but when I find him he runs, help me help him!  PLEASE. 

schiz? - - Feb 5th 2010

the comments from the girl one year ago....(january 2009) interested me... the boyfriend who wanted to be on his own.... i had this for years with my ex partner (male/male)relationship... he was diagnosed with the schiz... affectivive disorder.... but not before i had suffered years of self questioning.... and emotional pain.... i dont think these relationships work in the end...i was 15 years with him... and that time was so up and down(mostly down) that i know that at least a relationship is not supposed to be like that.... went to therapy twice and he didnt get into the "part" too well.... he left me devestated when he went with someone else... declaring "i have no emotions for you" after 15 years at least i expected anger....i know he has broken twice with this person already and now going to move him in.... recipe for disaster i think....we tried being friends... which lasted about a year until new years eve.... when he invited me to his place...where he was still living alone.... miles away from me.... and he left me alone at midnite to go out and wish the other person happy new year.... that hurt me badly... i never even met the other person...and dont want to.... so i think i just couldnt take any more.... just wanted to say i understand that ladies predicament.... if she is still in that relationship.i am trying to go it alone now and i made no real friends since i was with him....and  now im in a new county... so i dont think these people make good partners... best  catching on quick...

diagnosed schizoaffective, have symptoms of ptsd - saffie - Jan 18th 2010

I have a thyroid condition (total thyroidectomy treated with synthroid) possible homone problems, a diagnosis of schizo affective disorder (mania, depression and psychosis). Taking synthroid, lamictal, and geodon. No psychosis present on medication, but I have been experiencing anger, depression, anxiety, flashbacks, reliving past experiences, emotional numbness, and have restricted my social interaction due to fears of people and their bad behavior. I barely leave the house. I am not afraid of open spaces, but have learned that most people want to be hateful or take advantage and can not even carry on a neutral conversation. I try to avoid seeing their faces. I want to move somewhere where there aren't many people. In the past I was very extroverted. A lot of bad stuff has happened in my life.

differences between schizoid and schizophrenia - shahzad - Nov 21st 2009

can any body explain the differences between schizoid and schizophrenia.I think schizoid is not a mental disorder,its on one's lifestyle,he may intelligent,brilliant and even a sharp minded people also.but may be not interested in those activities which are not relevent to their work or passion.

schizoid - gene - Aug 11th 2009

changes during the growing age from 2-to young adult and also due to genetics.people do not choose,but that isnt always true.some people do choose this life stye because of what happens during there growing statges and how they are accepted by the people they interact with.if people are accepted for who they are and not what otheres want them to be,the stage for schizoid can be altered.however,if the person is not accepted but rejected and used,the possibility to become a schizoid is very high.schizoid pd. is there way of fighting back without fighting.and the remaining alone is what the schizoid person is giving people what they exspect from them.schizoids can love,can feel emotions,but because of what happened during there formable years they just shut down all feelings of attachments.this is my understanding of what i concider most of there problems.

Hummm, hmm, humm - andres - Aug 7th 2009


Some people are talking here about schizoid affective disorder... khmm, isn´t the right term schizoaffective disorder?!?!? i´m slightly confuuuuused...

andoresu (japanese version of my name)

Editor's Note: "Schizoaffective Disorder" is a DSM Axis I diagnosis that combines full psychotic symptoms as occurs in Schizophrenia with mood disorder symptoms.  The term Schizoid is used to describe an Axis II personality disorder characteized by flattened emotional presentation and a detached approach to life.  No psychosis is present in a Schizoid personality disorder, though it is thought that Schizoid PD is related to the family of psychotic disorders

Help-My Boyfriend has Schizoid Personality Disorder - Rosella Grimes - Jan 31st 2009

It's just what it says.  I need help.  My bf has SPD and it's tearing me apart.  The relationship has to be on his terms.  He doesn't care what he says to me.  He doesn't care about how I will feel.  We've been together about 3 yrs. The first 6 months were fine.  Then one day he started saying that he needed his space and it wasn't to be with another woman.  He said he just wanted to be alone.  I really thought he wanted to be with another woman at first but then I realized that he would just as well be by himself and just not see me.  After the first six months, he did ask me to go to relationship therapy with him on more than one occassion but I told him no.  I told him that people don't go to a therapist to save a bf/gf relationship.  I told him that is why people date.  If the bf/gf relationship is not working then people break up and that saves having to go through a divorce.  I told him that I would go if marriage was on the table which of course it's not.  And that really hurt the relationship let him tell it.  Every since I mentionded the word marriage, he has become more and more distant and withdrawn from me and the relationship.  He says he's just not interested in the relationship and sees us as just becoming really good friends. I have offered to go to relationship therapy now that I understand a little more but now he's opting not to go.  He says he loves me but he's not in love with me. He says he doesn't give his heart like that.  He says the only thing we have in common is sex.  We have other similar interests but that's what he thinks is the common link and he can't see beyond that.

schizophrenia - - Oct 10th 2008

It sounds like you guys here are suffering from a condition known as schizophrenia. People with Schizoid personality don't hear voice nor have deliusions. They have a lack of close relationships within their lives, but they don't care about gaining interpersonal skills and tend to be rather happy with who they are. Many schizoids feel superior to others and have no real cause for forming close relationships with others. When they move out their parents house to live on their own the first thing they do is unplug their telephone to prevent future contact with inmediate family members. They tend to be rather thin, and intelligent; they don't report having intense emotions. Main thing here is schizoids tend to be content with who they are and rarely go in for theorpy; they are a little weird but SANE. SPD seems to be more like a type of personality--a choice of lifestyle--rather than a mental disorder.

Editor's Note: I'll add that Schizoid PD is not necessarily something people choose. It is a developmental condition, appearing early on, before a person has the wherewithal to make a choice. Incidence of this condition are higher in first degree relatives of people who develop Schizophrenia, suggesting that there may be an inherited basis for it.  Schizoid PD is perhaps best seen as a member of the family of schizophreniform problems.  A relatively mild development of the broader condition. 

help with symptoms - leanne - Sep 27th 2008

I am a little bit confused about where i fit. I have never been able to make social connections with other people since early in childhood, though I do have acceptable social skills. The more time I spend the more bored and inattentive I get,  I have recently noted that I do make facial expressions during conversations with people that are often inappropirate or are often delayed compared to natural response. I have a difficult time making eye contact during social interactons I prefer to look away, and when am acting genuine I have flattened and depressive facial expressions.

I have noted difficulty with speech, couldn't learn to read until grade 4 and have been unable even while in univeristy using basic grammar and have struggles making coherent sentences that string together. I speak in metaphor all the time and in pictures in an attemp to mask the fact that I have difficulty make sentences other can understand. I am totally withdrawn, My feelings seem to be disconnected from my facial reactions and I am unable to receive feedback from my body about how I am feeling. I get into catatonic stages of depression. previously I had no want to be in any social situations, however, the more I try the more I realize that I continually feel no connection to people regardless of feedback quite the contrary. I have really great hearing for sounds, but go into sensory overload out in crowds or malls where I am consumed my the overwhelming stimuli. I am sensitive to noices and need this to move slowely and quiettly. I dissociate on a regular basis and have poor apathy or empathy for other individuals, and I have to learn things visually. I cannot learn or understand when people are auditory. My sentences are broken and often become derailed, I switch from topic to topic never finishing the point and make loose associations more than the nomal person. Can any body help 

I cannot feel connection with family members and friends, feeling love is impossible But, I do often have feelings for my dog. I know I like them, but I am totally unable to connect. I have strong voices in my head that I can often place a image or a personality that have strong ideas and speak at different times but they original from myself. myself. I only understand the world through cognitive. I often have paranoia that people or always hiding things from me and and communicating amongst  themselves about my situation. I refused to be touched by anybody

Many Voices and ups and downs - Isadora - Sep 20th 2008

I have been diagnosed with schizoid affective disorder, bipolar type.  I have gone without 1 week of sleep now and the voices are loud.  I have no family because i am mentally ill and that is taboo in my family.  The friends I have are like family to me now, and even though I am shy, I am able to open up to people now.  I am an artist who was told by their professor that she is a creative genius.  Now I don't go that far, I am not a genius.  But it was nice to hear that.

Schitzo Affective Disorder/Bipolar Disorder - CG - Apr 10th 2008

Hi. I have bipolar disorder with psychotic features. I was diagnosed with Schitzo Affective Disorder twice, and 3 times Bipolar Disorder only based on 6 mental clinical stays over 6 years. However, I know I experience mania, hypomania, psychosis (if my meds stop working or I'm "using" too much) and I do vagely hear things or see things. With the hearing, it's like whoever on here said, it's an extenstion of my imagination, because the last time I was psychotic i was able to cancel out the voices through self talk and analyzing. But, very few times, I do see something, like my angel candle the other day looked at me. LOL. And, I've learned to laugh about it bc I have a very supportive family, school and work and therpist/psychiatrist. I don't try to hide it bc I know other people can see my "baggage" every so often. I also have ptsd from living most of my teen life in horrible 3rd world countries. I just want to know, how do you chose the right medication? BC any psych. can give you a pill and say it could help. I'm scared to use a narcotic like halodol, but I'm beginning to think it's ok. How does the "client" chose the right meds? Like what are the top drugs of choice for this? BC I don't think too many people know what they're doing by giving me meds. High doses of lithium make me puke it up and zyprexa is the only one that I can stomach and that helps. I've been on all the tops meds for bipolar disorder. However,I've been, like i said misdiagnosed plenty of times. How do I take control with my meds, bc I know I HAVE to take them. So far, non of mine have been narcotic. Need some advice. Thank you for letting me speak . Hope you can answer me. Thanks again.


What the Label Means - Sandra - Mar 13th 2008

Hello, I'm writing regarding the Schizoid Affective disorder. I am currently a patient in a psychiatric unit and "seem" to show signs of Schizoid Affective Disorder, (according to my psychiatrist).

The definitions, stories and description your website gives has nothing in common with what my behavioral and intellectual capabilities are. I enjoy having relationships, intimate and otherwise. I enjoy expressing gratitude, gratefulness, praise (when warranted) and enjoy receiving likewise. I am a people person, meaning I have interactions with other people and like being in same environment. I work and am capable of work. The type of work I do includes; multi-tasking, time management, prioritizing and making decisions in high stress situations. I enjoy and relish working in that type of environment.

My comment/question is the label "Schizoid Affective" can curtail and or limit a person's perceived capabilities so in hindsight wouldn't it be more beneficial to the patient to not be labelled? Labels can be detrimental to a person's own perception of self when the label is viewed as negative. Thank you very much and I hope a section on "labelling" will be an upcoming feature.

Editor's Note: I think you have two categories confused.  There is Schizoid Personality Disorder, and then there is Schizoaffective Disorder. If you are a people person, your doctor is probably suggesting that you are showing signs consistent with Schizoaffective Disorder.  These two diagnoses are entirely separate things!  Schizoaffective Disorder occurs when someone is showing signs characteristic of depression or bipolar disorder and also signs of psychosis (e.g., hallucinations or delusions).  People with Schizoid Personality Disorder are not necessarily depressed or psychotic (although they could be, I suppose).  Rather, their defining characteristic is that they are detached from relationships and simply don't give them much thought or weight.  Hope this differentiation helps.  

Regarding labeling, this is a long standing issue with regard to psychiatric diagnosis.  The main purpose of the labels is to identify people who have a specific condition known to respond to specific treatments (an important function if people are to be treated properly!); it is not to stigmatize.  However, there is a side effect that some labels can take on a prejudiced meaning.  There isn't really any easy answer to this problem.  

HELP - Stephanie - Apr 19th 2007
Thank-you for sharing what has been going on lately. I can relate to what you are saying. I used to hear voices, for I do have schitzo-affective disorder which maens scatered speech, not much facial expression, disorganized speech and I lose touch with reality. Sometimes I can be deadly-quiet. About this voice, I think at least part of it comes from your head. Your imagination as well. I think that you should talk to a doctor, and/or parent/someone you're close to and seek treatment right away. Meds can be prescribed if things become really bad. Good luck and I hope that I helped you at least a little bit. it takes guts to really share what's been going on with your disorder.  

night voice - june - Oct 19th 2006
Every night I hear a voice talking to me and I answer questions that are asked. The voice appear to be a innerside of me that removes all restritions that keeps me from being myself. Most are of a sexual nature and demands me to obide by the voice commands. I listen to the voice intently and adhere to what is said and if not done, I am to be punished. Sometimes the voice sounds to be demonic and commands deeds that are to be performed while under a hynotic trance at bedtime. I find that it is like my free will has been removed and have no alternative but, to obey. I wake up as if nothing has happened during the night and the next morning I find my panties were removed and very wet. This has been going on for long time and have not told anyone. I live and work alone and don't have any friends.

Follow us on Twitter!

Find us on Facebook!

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify.This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.

Powered by CenterSite.Net