Schizoid and Schizotypal Personality Disorders

Defensive behaviors, detachment from social activities, and restricted range of emotions displayed by individuals from different cultural backgrounds may be erroneously considered as schizoid. For example, individuals who have moved from rural to metropolitan areas may show "emotional freezing" as manifested by solitary activities and constricted affect. Immigrants may also be mistakenly perceived as cold, hostile, and indifferent (DSM-IV, 1994, p. 639). In his cross-cultural interpretation of personality disorders in Indians, Castillo (1997) reported that "to be detached and unmoved by good or bad events is considered to be saintly in the Hindu culture... This type of personality development would not be considered pathological in Hindu society. Schizoid personality disorder.. .would be an inappropriate diagnosis [in this society]" (p. 100). Cognitive and perceptual distortions may be associated with religious beliefs and rituals, which may appear to be schizotypal to clinicians uninformed about these cultural variations (DSM-IV, p. 643). Examples of these distortions include voodoo ceremonies, speaking in tongues, belief in life beyond death, mind reading, evil eye, and magical beliefs associated with health and illness (Campinha-Bacote, 1992).

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