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Are You The Dedicated Loner?

Published on July 28, 2008

One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain't nothin' beats teamwork. -- Edward Abbey

Perhaps individuals with Schizoid Personality Disorder (SPD) agree with Mr. Abbey and have decided that "pretty stupid" is better than "the bona fide stupidity" of teamwork. SPD is a "pervasive pattern of detachment from social relationships and a restricted range of expression of emotions in interpersonal setting" (DSM IV, 1996, p.638). As with other personality disorders it will begin in early adulthood and is present in a variety of contexts. These are not sociable folks. They do not appear to seek out or welcome close relationships.

As with Paranoid Personality Disorder, relatives are likely to want the individual to seek help. Family members may hope that "talking" will change their loved one into a "normal", emotionally responsive human being. If the person wants to make changes he or she will - if not, he or she will not. Odds are good that the SPD individual will never be an expressive person, and will probably continue to desire solitude. He or she may seek treatment for the anxiety and/or depression from which SPD individuals may suffer, but not for the personality disorder itself.

This disorder will appear in about 3% of the general population. Slightly more will be male than female.

The characteristics below are likely to be apparent in individuals with SPD. To find out if they are representative of you or someone you know, mark each questions with a "Y" for Yes and a "N" for No and then consult the scoring instructions at the end of the test. By the way, it is highly unlikely that someone with Schizoid Personality Disorder would be taking this test.

1. He/she neither enjoys nor desires close relationships, including being part of a family.

2. He/she almost always chooses solitary activities over those involving other people.

3. He/she rarely, if ever, experiences strong emotions.

4. He/she has little or no interest in having a sexual relationship experience with another person.

5. He/she is indifferent to the criticism or praise of other people.

6. He/she has no more than one close friend or confidant, other than first-degree relatives.

7. He/she displays little emotion (i.e., seems aloof, rarely reciprocates the gestures or expressions of others).

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