Clinical manifestations of schizoid personality disorder are diverse and can change over a period of time.  The most characteristic aspect of this disorder which is very prominent is that the affected individuals appear detached and are loners. People suffering from this condition are prone to:
Most of these personality disorders begin in early adulthood and become noticeable during personal or social situations. Schizoid personality disorder is a part of the schizophrenic spectrum which includes schizophrenia and schizotypal personality disorder. Schizoid personality disorder is almost similar in its presentation to the other two, but varies in two main aspects. Firstly, schizoid personality disorder patients are in touch with reality and speak in a reasonable way. Hallucinations and delusions are common in the other two disorders but not in this condition.
A complete psychological assessment is involved, which also includes a complete physical examination and a review of personal and medical history. Sometimes reference to a psychiatrist will be required. Childhood history also needs to be analyzed . To diagnose an individual with schizoid personality disorder, at least four of the following criteria from the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) published by the American Psychiatric Association should be met. These are:
These are the important diagnostic criteria to judge and evaluate such cases. Elimination of other medical conditions with similar symptoms should be done.
The most important aspect of treatment is the acknowledgement of the condition by the patient. Often treatment is discontinued by the patient due to failure to maintain a relationship with the therapist. Treatment options are variable and the outcome is also varied due to the complexity of patient's nature. Different therapies include:
Most of the cases are considered untreatable and each case can follow various patterns and can have variable outcomes .The psychosocial environment appears important in the prognosis. Since this disorder is chronic, the life of the affected individuals appears lifeless or directionless which generally does not become better with time. Due to lack of insight, patients deny they are ill and refrain from seeking help and support. This probably is the most difficult aspect of schizoid personality disorder to treat.
Due to inability to maintain social relationships, these patients may abruptly stop taking medications. Cases with mild level of social impairment can improve with treatment and therapy, if we try to focus the treatment on maintaining relationships pertaining to patient's employment.
A relapse of social isolation is very possible even though treatment ends. Since this is a prolonged disorder, patients can go into depression very easily.
No single cause has been identified to date. A number of possible causes have been implicated and are the subject of research. Many hypotheses  and theories have been formulated regarding this condition, and numerous studies have underlined the influence of both genetic and environmental factors. The roots of this disease seem to originate from the childhood of the affected individual, in circumstances such as the influence of unemotional parents, family ruptures, neglected upbringing or living in families socially withdrawn. Child abuse can also significantly contribute to this condition.
There is a lack of emotional stimuli from childhood as well as lack of attention, love and care which seems to trigger this condition. Due to lack of communication and stimuli these children do not understand the importance of interpersonal relationships and interaction with others. Many studies show a higher prevalence of this condition in relatives of people with schizophrenia. There are certain risk factors which increases the chances of developing this condition such as:
Thus, there is no single cause of this condition, but a rather complex play of various factors which tends to be passed on from one generation to another.
Amongst personality disorders, schizoid personality disorder is quite uncommon in clinical settings. There is very limited information on the epidemiology  of this condition as many cases go undiagnosed. According to certain studies, schizoid personality disorder may be more common than other mental conditions , but due to its presentation, it may go unnoticed and not reported. There is no genetic variation in the incidence of this condition . Schizoid personality disorder affects less than about 3-4% of the general population and tends to affect males more than females.
Schizoid personality disorder is mainly detected in young adults, as we cannot diagnose this condition in adolescents when the personality has not fully formed yet . The condition has a familiar pattern and tends to affect biological relatives of those suffering from either schizophrenia or schizoid personality disorder.
Environmental or developmental factors may account for the variability in the onset of the condition. Patients with the disorder are more likely to be unmarried or single and have no or low sex drive. This is due to lack of interest in emotional intimacy.
Recent work has emphasized the importance of the interaction of both genetic and non-genetic factors in the disease expression. Individuals may carry a genetic predisposition, but this vulnerability is not manifested unless others factors intervene.
Emphasis should be given to early identification of high risk individuals who can develop these personality disorders. Since the cause of this condition is obscure, there are no definite preventive methods. Certain services should be made available for determining and identifying children from broken families, or vulnerable parents and counseling and rehabilitation should be provided.
This personality disorder can be prevented by education of the masses of the importance of love, care and attention amongst parents and children. People need to be first educated about such cases in order to detect them.
Schizoid personality disorder is one of the lesser known and lesser common mental health conditions, wherein the affected individuals tend to have an emotional detachment and indifference towards others. They lead an isolated life and are socially withdrawn. They rarely show any emotions and appear aloof and cold towards other individuals. This mental disorder mainly manifests itself as an abnormal behavioral pattern  and these individuals cannot adapt or change their behavior under personal or social situations. This condition is often confused with schizophrenia, but they are different mental conditions, although both show many similarities. The cause of this condition is not clearly understood and there seems to be a role of both genetic as well as environmental factors. It tends to affect males more than females and may be seen in families with schizophrenia. Even though the affected individuals are lonely, it is difficult for them to acknowledge this fact and still prefer solitude. Interpersonal relationships are difficult for them and they even prefer to work alone. They shun crowds and sometimes appear invisible and enjoy being in their own thoughts and world. Therapy in the form of counseling and family support may seem to help. In certain cases medications are also given.
Schizoid personality disorder is a type of mental disorder in which an affected individual will refrain from social contact and avoid any close relationships. They appear as loners who do not like personal interactions. This disorder has no known cause and is believed to originate from a combination of genetic as well as environmental factors .Environmental factors mainly include any history of family ruptures, neglected upbringing, abuse or any kind of mental trauma. This tends to start in early adulthood and affects men more than women. The most common presentation of this condition is emotional detachment, failure to interact socially, no interest in sex or marriage and preference for solitude.
These cases go unnoticed due to the fact that the affected individuals refuse to acknowledge their condition or confide in no one or seek help from no one. It is important that such conditions be detected early so that appropriate therapy can be implemented. It is important for family members to help such patients take timely treatment and provide ample moral support.
Treatment is mainly psychotherapy which includes group therapy as well. Medications are normally given as a last option. Relapses are quite common.
There is no known prevention other than early detection, education and counseling.