How to Idenifiy Schizotypal Personality Disorder


The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders defines Schizotypal Personality Disorder as, "a pervasive pattern of social and interpersonal deficits marked by acute discomfort with, and reduced capacity for, close relationships as well as by cognitive or perceptual distortions and eccentricities of behavior, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts." The following are some of the more common symptoms.


IDEAS OF REFERENCE. This is the belief that things in the outside world have direct or personal significance. Sufferers may believe that someone on the television or the radio is speaking directly to them. Patients may also experience paranoid feelings believing that people or "groups of people" are plotting or conspiring against them.


ODD BELIEFS OR MAGICAL THINKING. People with Shizotypal Disorder tend to be very superstitious, believe they possess telepathic or clairvoyant abilities, or believe they possess a sixth sense.


SOCIAL ANXIETY. Patients feel extremely uncomfortable in social situations based primarily on paranoia rather then on feelings of social inadequacy.


INAPPROPRIATE OR BLANK AFFECT. They may either appear "emotionless" or display inappropriate emotions such as laughing at sad things or crying in a humorous situation.


ODD APPEARANCE OR DRESS. Schizotypals sufferers will often stand out by the way they dress. They are usually prefer to dress in an odd assortment of clothing.


UNUSUAL BODILY ILLUSIONS. Persons suffering with Schizotypal Disorder often believe they have the ability to slip out of their own bodies. This is sometimes known as "astral projection".

Tips and Warnings

  • This disorder is very difficult to treat with psychotherapy.
  • Because the symptoms are so similar to Schizophrenia psychiatrists believe that some of the same factors are at work in terms of the cause of this disorder.
  • Antipsychotic medications are often used to alleviate associative conditions such as anxiety, depression or other mood disorders. For example, treatment for distorted thinking may be with the prescription medications Risperdal and Zyprexa.
  • Of the ten currently recognized personality disorders Schizotypal Personality Disorder is perhaps the most "odd" in terms of its symptoms and associated behavior. It also considered the most severe and difficult to treat. It is estimated that approximately 3-5\% of the population suffers with Schizotypal Personality Disorder with a slightly higher prevalence among men than women. So what are the signs and symptoms of this very strange personality disorder?