The Eccentric Cluster Ways of Being Different

A second cluster of personality disorders contains traits that combine to make people ill-at-ease socially and just plain dif ferent. Most of the oddness in these disorders has to do with how the person interacts with others. Some people have no interest in others; some are extremely uncomfortable with others; and some are suspicious of others. When carried to extremes, these interpersonal styles form the three personality disorders known as the schizoid, schizotypal, and paranoid personalities.

Schizoid and schizotypal personality disorders both take their root from schizophrenia and are closely tied to the history of this diagnostic category .

Schizophrenia as a term literally means a cutting of the mind of f from itself and from reality. It is a serious mental illness that involves hallucinations, delusions, and perceptual aberrations. The personality disorders of schizoid and schizotypal exhibit some low-grade nonpsychotic symptoms of schizophrenia. For example, the schizotype is eccentric and is interested in odd and unusual beliefs, whereas the schizoid displays social apathy. Schizophrenics display both of these characteristics, plus delusions or hallucinations. Thus these personality disorders have much in common with this more severe mental illness. In the case of schizotypal disorders, persons are likely to possess the genotype that makes them vulnerable to schizophrenia. A large proportion of the family members of persons with schizophrenia exhibit odd and unusual behaviors that would contribute to a diagnosis of schizotypal personality disorder.

Schizoid Personality Disorder

The schizoid personality is split of f (schism), or detached, from normal social r ela-tions. The schizoid person simply appears to have no need or desire for intimate relationships or even friendships. Family life usually does not mean much to such people, and they do not obtain satisfaction from being part of a group. They have few or no close friends, and they would rather spend time by themselves than with others. They typically choose hobbies that can be done and appreciated alone, such as stamp collecting. They also typically choose solitary jobs, often with mechanical or abstract tasks, such as machinists or computer programmers. Usually , the schizoid personality experiences little pleasure from bodily or sensory experiences, such as eating or having sex. The person's emotional life is typically constricted.

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Getting to Know Anxiety

Getting to Know Anxiety

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