What Is Schizotypal Personality Disorder?

Schizotypal Personality Disorder: Definition, Symptoms, and Treatment

What Is Schizotypal Personality Disorder?

Everyone has their own eccentricities or awkward behaviors. Sometimes, however, a person will begin to experience strange patterns of thinking and behaving and struggle to form relationships with others. This condition is a chronic mental illness known as schizotypal personality disorder (SPD).

People with schizotypal personality disorder are often identified as having an eccentric personality.

They might take magical thinking, superstitions, or paranoid thoughts very seriously, avoiding people whom they irrationally mistrust. They also might dress strangely or ramble in speech.

These behaviors can make it difficult for them to form close relationships and succeed at work or school.

Causes of Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Researchers do not understand exactly what causes schizotypal personality disorder, but they believe it is a combination of genetics and environmental factors.

People with a 1st-degree relative with schizophrenia are at increased risk of developing the condition.

For people genetically pre-disposed to developing SPD, experiencing psychological trauma or chronic stress can also increase the risk of symptoms emerging.

Article continues below

Researchers estimate the lifetime prevalence of SPD to be roughly 4%, with the condition affecting men slightly more than women.

Roughly half of people with schizotypal personality disorder have experienced at least one episode of major depression.

People with bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, borderline personality disorder, and narcissistic personality disorder are also at higher risk of having schizotypal personality disorder.

Schizotypal Personality Disorder Symptoms

The signs of schizotypal personality disorder include three major components. The first is a decreased capacity to form close relationships, which can cause a person severe discomfort. The second is experiencing distortions in one’s thinking or perceiving of events. The third is exhibiting eccentric behavior.

In younger people, schizotypal personality disorder may first manifest as attention problems, social anxiety, or interest in playing or working alone. Kids may struggle with being teased or bullied, which can further heighten social anxiety. To receive a diagnosis, a person must have experienced these signs by the time they reach early adulthood.

A person also must have experienced five of the following symptoms:

  • Lack of close friends outside of  immediate family
  • Eccentric or unusual beliefs or mannerisms
  • Belief in superpowers (i.e. telepathy) or superstitions
  • Excessive social anxiety associated with paranoid fears
  • Paranoid thoughts or doubts about others’ loyalty
  • Interpreting harmless events as having a personal meaning
  • Dressing in an unkempt or odd manner
  • Sensing an absent person is present
  • Strange or rambling speech patterns
  • Flat or limited emotional responses

Receiving a Diagnosis

A person cannot receive a diagnosis of schizotypal personality disorder if they have a diagnosis of schizophrenia, any other psychotic disorder, autism spectrum disorder, or a diagnosis of bipolar disorder or depressive disorder with psychotic features.

When being evaluated for a personality disorder, many people find it useful to bring along a friend or family member who has observed their behaviors and can offer insight to a doctor. You also might want to gather information about your family’s medical history, in particular whether there is any history of mental illness or stories about peculiar behavior or beliefs.

Schizotypal Personality Disorder Vs. Schizophrenia

Schizotypal personality disorder and schizophrenia may appear similar, but there are differences between the two diagnoses.

People with schizotypal personality disorder typically don’t experience hallucinations and delusions, and if they do, they are not as intense or frequent as those experienced by people with schizophrenia.

People with schizotypal personality disorder are open to the idea that their ideas and perceptions are distorted, whereas people with schizophrenia typically are not. However, a person who exhibits symptoms of SPD earlier in life may go on to develop schizophrenia.

What is the Treatment for Schizotypal Personality Disorder?

Treatment for Schizotypal Personality Disorder usually involves a combination of psychotherapy and medication. There is very little research about the use of psychotherapy with SPD patients.

Psychotherapy can include psycho-education about social skills as well as cognitive-behavioral techniques that help patients identify and challenge negative or distorted patterns of thinking.

Family therapy may also help educate family members about the disorder, improve communication, and address patterns which increase anxiety for the individual.

No medications have currently been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of schizotypal personality disorder. However, doctors may prescribe antipsychotic medications, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, or anti-anxiety medications to help with symptoms. Stimulants often used to treat attention problems can also sometimes be found useful in patients with SPD.

Treatment may also include addressing some of the complications of the disorder, which can include increased anxiety, substance abuse, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors. It may also address specific complications at work, school, or with relationships.

Overall, symptoms tend to improve when people with schizotypal personality disorder begin to build stronger relationships and a sense of self-efficacy at school, work, or in other interests.

Can a Person with Schizotypal Personality Disorder Find Employment? 

The eccentric behaviors and beliefs that accompany schizotypal personality disorder can make it difficult for a person to find or maintain employment. They might show up to work dressed inappropriately or experience paranoid fears when dealing with customers or other coworkers.

A diagnosis of a personality disorder, however, should qualify an individual in the US to receive vocational rehabilitation services from their state.

These services can help a person learn social skills, find appropriate accommodations at work, and also pair them with a job coach who can work with them on site.

Employment can provide positive connections and meaningful work that can aid treatment for people with schizotypal personality disorder.

Getting Help for Schizotypal Personality Disorder

If you think that you or a loved one might have schizotypal personality disorder, it’s important to receive a proper evaluation. A psychiatric evaluation can help a doctor or mental health professional rule out other diagnoses and determine whether there are co-occurring conditions that also need to be treated.

Because so many people with schizotypal personality disorder also experience depression, they are at increased risk of suicide. If you or a loved one are experiencing suicidal thoughts or behaviors, it’s important to seek help immediately. US residents can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK).

Although personality disorders are chronic conditions, medication and therapy can do a lot to alleviate symptoms and help a person build stronger relationships and feel effective in life. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor today to get more information about living with schizotypal personality disorder.

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlingtpon, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

Rosell, D. R., Futterman, S. E., McMaster, A., & Siever, L. J. (2014). Schizotypal personality disorder: A current review. Current Psychiatry Reports.

Schizotypal personality disorder. Medline Plus. November 18, 2016.

Schizotypal personality disorder. Mayo Clinic. August 19, 2017.

Schizotypal personality disorder. Merck Manuals. May 2018.

Источник: https://www.psycom.net/schizotypal-personality-disorder

4 Myths About Schizotypal Personality Disorder

What Is Schizotypal Personality Disorder?

Schizotypal personality disorder is characterized by strange beliefs and by peculiar behaviors, thoughts and speech. Individuals with this disorder tend to demonstrate limited emotions, experience social anxiety and distrust others.

The behavior of individuals with the condition may seem eccentric and cause many people to misunderstand the disorder, possibly leading them to believe some common myths about schizotypal personality disorder.

Fortunately, facts about schizotypal personality disorder can help with understanding the condition better. 

Myth 1: Schizotypal Personality Disorder is a Rare Condition

Fact: Schizotypal personality disorder is more common than it may seem and more common than other personality disorders.  

According to schizotypal personality disorder statistics, the prevalence of schizotypal personality disorder in the United States is nearly 4%. The prevalence rate is slightly higher in women, at 4.2%, compared to 3.7% in men. 

Research shows that the occurrence of schizotypal personality disorder is higher than that of several other personality disorders, including antisocial, histrionic and dependent personality disorder. For example, several studies found that the prevalence of dependent personality disorder is under 1%. Comparatively speaking, schizotypal personality disorder is not a rare condition. 

Myth 2: Schizotypal Personality Disorder Resembles Schizophrenia

Fact: While schizotypal personality disorder and schizophrenia have some similar characteristics, the two are distinct mental health conditions. 

Some symptoms of schizotypal personality disorder may appear similar to those seen in schizophrenia. For example, schizophrenia symptoms include unusual thoughts and a lack of emotional expression, which are characteristics also seen in cases of schizotypal personality disorder. 

The difference between schizotypal personality disorder and schizophrenia is that the latter is more severe and involves psychotic features, such as hallucinations and delusions.

Individuals with schizophrenia demonstrate psychosis, whereas it is reported that those with schizotypal personality disorder generally do not appear psychotic, as they are able to recognize when the reality is different from their own thoughts. 

While schizophrenia and schizotypal personality disorder are two separate conditions, it is possible that someone with schizotypal personality disorder may develop schizophrenia later in life.

Almost 30% of adolescents with schizotypal personality disorder will later develop psychosis, making the personality disorder a risk factor for schizophrenia.

There are shared genetic and neurological factors underlying both schizotypal personality disorder and schizophrenia, so schizotypal personality disorder may be regarded as fitting in the continuum of schizophrenia.  

Myth 3: Schizotypal Personality Disorder is Common in Older Adults

Fact: Schizotypal personality disorder generally manifests itself before the beginning of adulthood.

Some people may believe that schizotypal personality disorder is common in older adults, but the average age of onset of schizotypal personality disorder is during adolescence through early adulthood. Diagnostic criteria for schizotypal personality disorder stipulates that symptoms must be present by the start of adulthood. 

Schizotypal personality disorder statistics demonstrate that this disorder is not common in older adults. One study showed that 55% of people with this personality disorder show symptoms before age 20, and 14% become symptomatic before age 14. The risk of developing schizotypal personality disorder ceases once a person turns 40. 

Additional statistics confirm that schizotypal personality disorder is not common in older adults. Among those between 65 and 74 years old, the prevalence of the disorder is 1.89% for men and 1.25% for women. By the age of 85 and beyond, prevalence drops to 0.18 percent for men and 1.5 percent for women. 

Myth 4: Schizotypal Personality Disorder Isn’t Treatable

Fact: Treatment is available for schizotypal personality disorder, and it can help individuals with this condition to lead fulfilling, productive lives. 

Schizotypal personality disorder treatment can involve medications, counseling or a combination of the two. Generally, treatment includes antipsychotic medications.

Doctors may also treat schizotypal personality disorder with antidepressants to help patients manage the anxiety associated with this condition.

A type of therapy called cognitive behavioral therapy can help individuals with schizotypal personality disorder develop social skills and coping mechanisms to understand how their thoughts and behaviors may seem peculiar to others.

If you or a loved one live with a substance use disorder co-occurring with a mental health disorder, schizotypal personality disorder, contact The Recovery Village to speak with a representative about how treatment helps people live healthier lives. You or your loved one deserve good health, call today.

  • SourcesRosell, Daniel, et al. “Schizotypal personality disorder: A current review.” Current Psychiatry Reports, July 2014. Accessed June 6, 2019. Sansone, Randy; Sansone, Lori. “Personality disorders: A nation-based perspective on prevalence.” Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience, April 2011. Accessed June 6, 2019. National Institute of Mental Health. “Schizophrenia.”  February 2016. Accessed June 6, 2019. Skodol, Andrew. “Schizotypal personality disorder.” Merck Manual Professional Version, May 2018. Accessed June 6, 2019. Esterberg, Michelle; et al. “A personality disorders: Schizotypal, schizoid and paranoid personality disorders in childhood and adolescence.” Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, December 1, 2010. Accessed June 6, 2019. Skodol, Andrew. “Expert Q&A: Personality disorders.” American Psychiatric Association, 2019. Accessed June 7, 2019. Baron, M.; et al. “Age-of-onset in schizophrenia and schizotypal disorders: Clinical and genetic implications.” Neuropsychobiology, 1983. Accessed June 7, 2019. Reynolds, Kristin; et al. “Prevalence of psychiatric disorders in U.S. older adults: Findings from a nationally representative survey.” World Psychiatry, February 2015. Accessed June 7, 2019. Grilo, C.M.; et al. “Two-year stability and change of schizotypal, borderline, avoidant, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorders.” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 2004. Accessed June 7. 2019.

Источник: https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/mental-health/schizotypal-personality-disorder/stpd-myths/

Schizotypal personality disorder

What Is Schizotypal Personality Disorder?

People with schizotypal personality disorder are often described as odd or eccentric and usually have few, if any, close relationships. They generally don't understand how relationships form or the impact of their behavior on others. They may also misinterpret others' motivations and behaviors and develop significant distrust of others.

These problems may lead to severe anxiety and a tendency to avoid social situations, as the person with schizotypal personality disorder tends to hold peculiar beliefs and may have difficulty with responding appropriately to social cues.

Schizotypal personality disorder typically is diagnosed in early adulthood and is ly to endure across the lifespan, though treatment, such as medications and therapy, can improve symptoms.


Schizotypal personality disorder typically includes five or more of these signs and symptoms:

  • Being a loner and lacking close friends outside of the immediate family
  • Flat emotions or limited or inappropriate emotional responses
  • Persistent and excessive social anxiety
  • Incorrect interpretation of events, such as a feeling that something that is actually harmless or inoffensive has a direct personal meaning
  • Peculiar, eccentric or unusual thinking, beliefs or mannerisms
  • Suspicious or paranoid thoughts and constant doubts about the loyalty of others
  • Belief in special powers, such as mental telepathy or superstitions
  • Unusual perceptions, such as sensing an absent person's presence or having illusions
  • Dressing in peculiar ways, such as appearing unkempt or wearing oddly matched clothes
  • Peculiar style of speech, such as vague or unusual patterns of speaking, or rambling oddly during conversations

Signs and symptoms of schizotypal personality disorder, such as increased interest in solitary activities or a high level of social anxiety, may be seen in the teen years. The child may be an underperformer in school or appear socially step with peers, which may result in teasing or bullying.

Schizotypal personality disorder vs. schizophrenia

Schizotypal personality disorder can easily be confused with schizophrenia, a severe mental illness in which people lose contact with reality (psychosis). While people with schizotypal personality disorder may experience brief psychotic episodes with delusions or hallucinations, the episodes are not as frequent, prolonged or intense as in schizophrenia.

Another key distinction is that people with schizotypal personality disorder usually can be made aware of the difference between their distorted ideas and reality. Those with schizophrenia generally can't be swayed away from their delusions.

Despite the differences, people with schizotypal personality disorder can benefit from treatments similar to those used for schizophrenia. Schizotypal personality disorder is sometimes considered to be on a spectrum with schizophrenia, with schizotypal personality disorder viewed as less severe.

When to see a doctor

People with schizotypal personality disorder are ly to seek help only at the urging of friends or family members.

Or people with schizotypal personality disorder may seek help for another problem such as depression.

If you suspect that a friend or family member may have the disorder, you might gently suggest that the person seek medical attention, starting with a primary care doctor or mental health professional.

If you need immediate help

If you're concerned that you might harm yourself or someone else, go to an emergency room or call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. Or call a suicide hotline number. In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or use its webchat at suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat.


Personality is the combination of thoughts, emotions and behaviors that makes you unique. It's the way you view, understand and relate to the outside world, as well as how you see yourself. Personality forms during childhood, shaped through an interaction of inherited tendencies and environmental factors.

In normal development, children learn over time to appropriately interact with others, to interpret social cues, and to respond to social situations appropriately and with flexibility.

What exactly goes wrong for a person with schizotypal personality disorder isn't known for certain, but it's ly that changes in the way the brain functions, genetics, environmental influences and learned behaviors may play a role.

Risk factors

Your risk of schizotypal personality disorder may be greater if you have a relative who has schizophrenia or another psychotic disorder.


People with schizotypal personality disorder are at an increased risk of:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Other personality disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Temporary psychotic episodes, usually in response to stress
  • Problems with alcohol or drugs
  • Suicide attempts
  • Work, school, relationship and social problems


People with schizotypal personality disorder may seek help from their primary care doctor because of other symptoms, such as anxiety, depression or problems coping with frustration, or for treatment of substance misuse.

After a physical exam to help rule out other medical conditions, your primary care doctor may refer you to a mental health professional for further evaluation.

Diagnosis of schizotypal personality disorder typically is :

  • Thorough interview about your symptoms
  • Your personal and medical history
  • Symptoms listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association


Treatment for schizotypal personality disorder often includes a combination of psychotherapy and medication. Many people can be helped by work and social activities that are a fit for their personality styles.


Psychotherapy may help people with schizotypal personality disorder begin to trust others and learn coping skills by building a trusting relationship with a therapist.

Psychotherapy may include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy — Identifying and challenging negative thought patterns, learning specific social skills, and modifying problem behaviors
  • Supportive therapy — Offering encouragement and fostering adaptive skills
  • Family therapy — Involving family members, which may help improve communication, trust and the ability to work together in the home


There are no medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration specifically for the treatment of schizotypal personality disorder. However, doctors may prescribe an antidepressant to help relieve or reduce certain symptoms, such as depression or anxiety. Some medications may help improve flexibility in thinking.

Coping and support

Though schizotypal personality disorder is lifelong, some symptoms may improve over time through experiences that help foster — among other positive traits — self-confidence, a belief in one's ability to overcome difficulty and a sense of social support.

Factors that appear most ly to help reduce some symptoms of this disorder include:

  • Positive relationships with friends and family
  • Healthy daily rhythms, including having a schedule, a good sleep routine, exercise and consistency with taking prescribed medications
  • A sense of achievement at school, at work and in extracurricular activities

Preparing for an appointment

You're ly to start by seeing your primary care doctor. However, when you call to set up an appointment, you may be referred to a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist or psychologist.

Take a family member or friend along, if possible. With your permission, someone who has known you for a long time may be able to answer questions or share information with the mental health professional that you don't think to bring up.

Here's some information to help you prepare for your appointment.

What you can do

Before your appointment, make a list of:

  • Any symptoms you or your family noticed, and for how long. Ask friends or family members if they've felt concerned about your behavior and what they've noticed.
  • Key personal information, including traumatic events in your past and any current, major stressors. Find out about your family's medical history, including any history of mental illness.
  • Your medical information, including other physical or mental health conditions with which you've been diagnosed.
  • All medications you take, including the names and dosages of any medications, herbs, vitamins or other supplements you're taking.
  • Questions you want to ask your doctor to make the most of your appointment.

Some basic questions to ask include:

  • What is ly causing my symptoms?
  • What are other possible causes for my symptoms?
  • What treatments are most ly to be effective for me?
  • How much can I expect my symptoms to improve with treatment?
  • How often will I need psychotherapy, and for how long?
  • Are there medications that can help?
  • Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
  • If you're recommending medications, what are the possible side effects?
  • I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
  • Are there any brochures or other printed material I can take? What websites do you recommend?

Don't hesitate to ask other questions during your appointment.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is ly to ask you a number of questions, such as:

  • What are your symptoms?
  • When did you or your family first notice these symptoms?
  • How are your symptoms affecting your life?
  • Have your family members or friends expressed concern about your behavior?
  • Do you feel comfortable in social situations? Why or why not?
  • Do you have any close relationships?
  • If you're not satisfied with work, school or relationships, what do you think is causing your problems?
  • Have you ever thought about harming yourself or others? Have you ever actually done so?
  • Have you ever felt that other people can control your thoughts or that you could influence other people and events through your thoughts?
  • Have any of your close relatives been diagnosed with or treated for mental illness?

Your doctor or mental health professional will ask additional questions your responses, symptoms and needs. Preparing and anticipating questions will help you make the most of your appointment time.

©1998-2021 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. Terms of Use

Источник: https://middlesexhealth.org/learning-center/diseases-and-conditions/schizotypal-personality-disorder

Добавить комментарий

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: