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Review
, 31 (4), 155-171

[The Concept of Schizoidia in Psychiatry : From Schizoidia to Schizotypy and Cluster A Personality Disorders]

[Article in German]
Affiliations
Review

[The Concept of Schizoidia in Psychiatry : From Schizoidia to Schizotypy and Cluster A Personality Disorders]

[Article in German]
Hans-Peter Kapfhammer. Neuropsychiatr.

Abstract

From a perspective of conceptual evolution schizoidia was initially considered to describe features both of the premorbid personality of schizophrenic patients and of the personalities of non-psychotic family members (Bleuler, Kahlbaum, Kraepelin). On a psychopatholocial level a close link to the complex basic symptom of autism was stressed. From the very beginnings of modern psychiatry schizoidia was discussed within a conceptual frame of schizophrenia spectrum disorders (Kretschmer, Hoch, Polatin). Approaches to operationalize these conceptual works laid the basis for the cluster A personalities in DSM-III. Due to the prominent concept of schizotypy (Kety, Rado, Meehl) three split up diagnostic categories of schizotypal, schizoid and paranoid personality disorders resulted. Cluster A personality disorders are frequent in community-based epidemiological studies. Health-care seeking behaviour due to primary personality-related problems, however, seems to be less paramount compared to cluster B and C personality disorders. Many family- and twin-based genetic studies convincingly stress a close link between schizotypal personality disorder and schizophrenia. This link is less pronounced for paranoid personality disorder, and even vanishingly low for schizoid personality disorder. From a perspective of schizophrenia spectrum disorders a vast amount of data from molecular genetic, neurobiological, neuropsychological and psychosocial research has impressingly confirmed this link for schizotypal personality disorder. Major research deficits, however, have to be noticed for paranoid and schizoid personality disorder.

Keywords: Cluster A personality disorders; Schizoidia; Schizotypy.

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