[..]According to the ICD-10, schizoid personality disorder is characterized by at least three of the following criteria:
- Emotional coldness, detachment or reduced affection.
- Limited capacity to express either positive or negative emotions towards others.
- Consistent preference for solitary activities.
- Very few, if any, close friends or relationships, and a lack of desire for such.
- Indifference to either praise or criticism.
- Taking pleasure in few, if any, activities.
- Indifference to social norms and conventions.
- Preoccupation with fantasy and introspection.
- Lack of desire for sexual experiences with another person.[…]
According to Guntrip, «By the very meaning of the term the schizoid is described as cut off from the world of outer reality in an emotional sense. All this libidinal desire and striving is directed inward toward internal objects and he lives an intense inner life often revealed in an astonishing wealth and richness of fantasy and imaginative life whenever that becomes accessible to observation. Though mostly his varied fantasy life is carried on in secret, hidden away.» The schizoid person is cut off from outer reality to such a degree that he or she experiences outer reality as dangerous. It is a natural human response to turn away from sources of danger and toward sources of safety. The schizoid individual, therefore, is primarily concerned with avoiding danger and ensuring safety.
According to Guntrip, withdrawnness means detachment from the outer world, the other side of introversion. While there are many schizoid individuals who will present with obvious withdrawnness (a clear and obvious timidity, reluctance, or avoidance of the external world and interpersonal relationships), this defines only a portion of such individuals. Many fundamentally schizoid people present with an engaging, interactive personality style. Such a person can appear to be available, interested, engaged, and involved in interacting with others; however, in reality, he or she is emotionally withdrawn and sequestered in a safe place in an internal world. While withdrawnness or detachment from the outer world is a characteristic feature of schizoid pathology, it is sometimes overt and sometimes covert. When it is overt it matches the usual description of the schizoid personality. Just as often, it is a covert, hidden internal state of the patient.
[…]Loss of affect
According to Guntrip, «Loss of affect in external situations is an inevitable part of the total picture.» Because of the tremendous investment made in the self — the need to be self-contained, self-sufficient, and self-reliant — there is inevitable interference in the desire and ability to feel another person’s experience, to be empathic and sensitive. Often these things seem secondary, a luxury that has to await securing one’s own defensive, safe position. The subjective experience is one of loss of affect. For some patients, the loss of affect is present to such a degree that the insensitivity becomes manifest in the extreme as cynicism, callousness, or even cruelty. The patient appears to have no awareness of how his or her comments or actions affect and hurt other people. More frequently, the loss of affect is manifest within the patient as genuine confusion, a sense of something missing in his or her emotional life.
People with SPD are sometimes sexually apathetic, though they do not normally suffer from anorgasmia. Many schizoids have a normal sex drive but some prefer to masturbate rather than deal with the social aspects of finding a sexual partner. Therefore, their need for sex may appear less than for those who do not have SPD, as the individuals with SPD prefer remaining alone and detached. When having sex, individuals with SPD often feel that their personal space is being violated, and they commonly feel that masturbation or sexual abstinence is preferable to the emotional closeness they must tolerate when having sex.
[…]The ‘secret schizoid’
According to Ralph Klein there are many fundamentally schizoid individuals who present with an engaging, interactive personality style which contradicts the timidity, reluctance, or avoidance of the external world and interpersonal relationships as emphasized by the DSM-IV and ICD-10 definitions of the schizoid personality. Klein classifies these individuals as secret schizoids who present themselves as socially available, interested, engaged, and involved in interacting in the eyes of the observer, while at the same time, he or she is apart, emotionally withdrawn, and sequestered in a safe place in his or her own internal world. So, while withdrawnness or detachment from the outer world is a characteristic feature of schizoid pathology, it is sometimes overt and sometimes covert. While it is overt it matches the usual description of the schizoid personality offered in the DSM-IV. According to Klein, though, it is «just as often» a covert, hidden internal state of the patient in which what meets the objective eye may not be what is present in the subjective, internal world of the patient.[…]Descriptions of the schizoid personality as hidden behind an outward appearance of emotional engagement have long been recognized, beginning with Fairbairn’s (1940) description of ‘schizoid exhibitionism‘ in which he remarked that the schizoid individual is able to express quite a lot of feeling and to make what appear to be impressive social contacts but in reality giving nothing and losing nothing, because since he is only playing a part his own personality is not involved. According to Fairbairn, the person «…disowns the part which he is playing and thus the schizoid individual seeks to preserve his own personality intact and immune from compromise.» Further references to the secret schizoid come from Masud Khan, Jeffrey Seinfeld, and Philip Manfield, who gives a palpable description of an SPD individual who actually «enjoys» regular public speaking engagements, but experiences great difficulty in the breaks when audience members would attempt to engage him emotionally.
[…]According to Seinfeld, schizoid individuals frequently act out with substance and alcohol abuse and other addictions which serve as substitutes for human relationships. The substitute of a nonhuman for a human object serves as a schizoid defense. Providing examples of how the schizoid individual creates a personal relation with the drug, Seinfeld tells how “one addict called heroin his ‘soothing white pet.’ Another referred to crack as his ‘bad mama.’ I knew a female addict who termed crack her «boyfriend.» Not all addicts name their drug, but there often is the trace of a personal feeling about the relationship.” The object relations view emphasizes that the drug use and alcoholism reinforce the fantasy of union with an internal object, while enabling the addict to be indifferent to the external object world. Addiction is therefore viewed as a schizoid and symbiotic defense.
S. C. Ekleberry suggests that marijuana “may be the single most ego syntonic drug for individuals with SPD because it allows a detached state of fantasy and distance from others, provides a richer internal experience than these individuals can normally create, and reduces an internal sense of emptiness and failure to participate in life. Also, alcohol, readily available and safe to obtain, is another obvious drug of choice for these individuals. Some will use both marijuana and alcohol and see little point in giving up either. They are likely to use in isolation for the effect on internal processes.” 
Disorders Μαΐου 7, 2009