Schizoid personality disorder is a pattern of indifference to social relationships, with a limited range of emotional expression and experience. The disorder manifests itself by early adulthood through social and emotional detachments that prevent people from having close relationships. People with it are able to function in everyday life, but will not develop meaningful relationships with others. They are typically loners and may be prone to excessive daydreaming as well as forming attachments to animals. They may do well at solitary jobs others would find intolerable. There is evidence indicating the disorder may be the start of schizophrenia, or just a very mild form of it. People with schizoid personality disorder are in touch with reality unless they develop schizophrenia.
Schizoid people follow a pattern of seeking intense emotional connection followed by creating distance in order to protect themselves from feeling overtaken or consumed by the other. This may be particularly visible in the sexual realm, but it may occur in other kinds of intimate emotional contact as well.
Though the cause of personality disorders isn’t known, both genetics and environment are suspected to play a part in its development. Some mental health professionals speculate that a bleak childhood where warmth and emotion were absent contributes to the development of the disorder. A higher risk for schizoid personality disorder in families of schizophrenics suggests that there is genetic susceptibility to developing this disorder.
Those with schizoid personality disorder do not have schizophrenia, but it is thought that many of the same risk factors in schizophrenia may cause schizoid personality disorder.
People with schizoid personality disorder maintain contact with reality. Also, men may be more likely to have this disorder than women.