What is the Difference Between Narcissistic and Schizoid Personality Disorders?

Narcissistic personality disorder and schizoid personality disorder are among the most common disorders in the adult population. They have some similarities, but many differences. Here is a look to help you understand their differences. Knowing the definition and symptoms of these disorders can be helpful in identifying them in yourself or those close to you.

In this Mental Health Guide article,  you will learn the key differences between narcissistic and schizoid personality disorders.

The Definition of Narcissistic Disorders

This mental disorder is characterized by an inflated sense of self – delusions of grandeur about their importance. Those with narcissistic personality disorder have an almost compulsive need for admiration. Lurking beneath the grandiose view of themselves is a very insecure person who can be devastated by even slight criticism. The narcissism is hiding a damaged self-esteem, yet the mood disorders they display can be the opposite.

Definition of Schizoid Personality Disorder

This condition is marked by an avoidance of social relationships and activities. Those with schizoid personality disorder shy away from people to an extreme and are loners. Those with schizoid personality disorder have a very difficult time forming relationships. Because of the difficulty relating socially, those who suffer from this disorder appear severely stressed, emotionless, humorless or apathetic. In reality, they are often lonely.

Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Some of the most common signs of this disorder are these: Feelings of being more important than other people, dreaming of power and success, taking advantage of other people, caring little about other people’s feelings or concerns, exaggerating your accomplishments, extreme jealousy, fragile self-esteem and seeking constant praise even for minor achievements.  Those with narcissistic personality disorder often look down at others and can be very condescending. They are easily hurt and feel rejected when criticized.

Symptoms of Schizoid Personality Disorder

Here are the most common signs of this disorder: A preference for being alone, stubborn independence even when it is detrimental, seeming lack of desire for romance or sex, a follower and rarely a leader, inability to relate to others and a lack of motivation to excel.

Similarities and Differences Between Narcissistic and Schizoid Personality

As you can see, both disorders show clear signs of a fragile self-esteem. There is no internal confidence, regardless of what the exterior might show.

The differences are easy to spot too. The person with narcissistic personality disorder needs other people in order to get the emotional gratification from them. The person with schizoid personality disorder prefers to be alone and finds human interaction very difficult. This person is stubbornly independent and may feel inferior to others while the narcissist must be in relationship with other people to get the praise they desire and to satisfy their feelings of superiority.

Both have a tendency to also have substance abuse issues, and in women, eating disorders may also stem from depression and self worth problems.

Another commonality is that there is effective treatment for both disorders, usually focusing on counseling. With this kind of therapy and a commitment to understand the disorder and work through it, significant relief from these issues can be realized.

If you want to know more about these disorders you should contact a mental health professional in your area.