What is Schizotypal Personality Disorder?

What is Schizotypal Personality Disorder?


People with schizotypal personality disorder are frequently considered as weird or quirky, and they typically have few intimate connections. They have difficulty in understanding how the connections are formed and how relationships exists. They may also misread others’ goals and acts, developing a strong suspicion of others.These issues may cause considerable anxiety and a desire to avoid social interactions since the individual with schizotypal personality disorder has unusual views and may struggle to respond correctly to social cues.This categorization indicates that it influences a person’s behavior and leads them to think, feel, or react to others in ways that differ from what society deems normal.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) divides personality disorders into three main categories known as A, B, and C. STPD is a Cluster A personality disorder. According to Mental Health Association of America, these diseases are characterized by actions that others may see as unusual or unconventional.

Evidence shows that the frequency of STPD may vary across various groups, ranging from 0.45% to 4.6% .Schizotypal personality disorder is often diagnosed in early adulthood and is expected to persist throughout life, however treatment which includes drugs and therapy, can alleviate symptoms.

Related: The Five-Factor Model of Personality: All You Need To Know

Symptoms of Schizotypal Personality Disorder

People suffering with schizotypal personality disorder can feel extreme discomfort and anguish in social situations. They may struggle to build and sustain intimate connections, because of a skewed view of social interactions and strange social conduct.

If you have schizotypal personality disorder, you can:

  • Have severe social anxiety and bad social interactions. Except for first-degree relatives, they do not have any close pals or comrades
  • Possess odd actions and mannerisms.
  • Have unorthodox ideas and speech, such as using excessively abstract or concrete terms, or arranging sentences or words in unique combinations.
  • Have extraordinary perceptive experiences and mystical beliefs, such as believing they possess exceptional paranormal abilities.
  •  Viewing everyday circumstances or events as if they are of great importance to them.
  • Be wary and distrustful of others’ motives.
  • Have difficulties reacting appropriately to social signals, such as keeping eye contact.
  • Lack of motivation leads to underachievement in educational and professional contexts.

A person with STPD is often unaware of how their habits and actions affect others.

Related: Personality Disorder: Types, Cause and Symptoms

How does the Schizotypal Personality develop?

There is currently no agreement among medical professionals about the actual etiology of schizotypal personality disorder. But In general, like any other personality disorder, the etiology of the disease might be a mix of many variables, such as:

  • Genetics and Biology
  • Cultural and social factors, including past life experiences.
  • Childhood Relationships

According to research, there is a correlation between getting the disease and having a first-degree family who has been diagnosed with it, schizoid personality, or schizophrenia. This does not imply that it happens every time.

Can schizotypal Personality lead to Schizophrenia?

In general, schizotypal personality disorder does not usually lead to schizophrenia. Some experts believe that between 24% and 40% of those with the disorder may eventually be diagnosed with schizophrenia. Schizotypal personality and schizophrenia are frequently mistaken. One of the reasons for this misperception is that they may occasionally share similar symptoms. This includes:

  • Irregular or chaotic speech.
  • Social isolation, 
  • lack of motivation
  • Strange perceptions
  • Paranoid thoughts.

This is reason why DSM-5 classifies schizotypal personality disorder as a schizophrenia spectrum condition. This indicates that in certain circumstances, schizotypal personality might be considered a milder form of schizophrenia. However, there is a distinction between the two illnesses, which is frequently seen in the strength, length, and frequency of symptoms. Also, while signs of schizotypal personality are frequently recognized in persons with schizophrenia, some schizophrenia symptoms are not present in those with the personality disorder. Persistent and sustained psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions, are not indicative of schizotypal personality disorder.


If someone is diagnosed with STPD, the therapist will most likely recommend a mix of drugs and treatment. Although there is no particular treatment for STPD, evidence shows that second-generation antipsychotics, which are used to treat schizophrenia, may be beneficial in treating STPD symptoms. Risperidone and olanzapine, in particular, have been demonstrated to be effective in the treatment of STPD. Antidepressants or other neuroactive medicines may also be prescribed based on a patient’s other symptoms or concomitant disorders.

A variety of therapies may also be effective. Psychotherapy, often known as talking therapy, can help patients learn how to control their symptoms as well as build or sustain relationships.

Research and Clinical Insights

Studies on the diagnosis and treatment of STPD have emphasized the significance of using trustworthy diagnostic tools, such as the Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire (PDQ-4+) and the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ), to screen and diagnose the condition. Furthermore, studies have also investigated the use of second-generation antipsychotics along with these questionnaires in treating STPD symptoms.

Take Away

People with personality disorders have difficulty relating to others. In particular, they exhibit behaviors that society may see as unusual or unconventional. Genetic, social, and environmental variables are likely to influence its development. People will only be diagnosed if they exhibit specific characteristics, such as magical thinking, paranoia, or abnormal emotional reactions.

The current therapies often include a combination of medication and therapy. People with STPD are also more likely to have depression, addictive habits, and other personality disorders. It is important to recognize that schizotypal personality disorder (STPD) is a mental health issue. As with many mental health disorders, obtaining care as soon as symptoms develop might help to minimize the disruptions in your life. Mental health specialists can provide treatment strategies to assist control thoughts and behaviors.

Family members of STPD patients face stress, despair, and isolation. It is crucial to look after your mental health and get treatment if you are experiencing these symptoms.

References +
  • Casabianca, S. S. (2022, June 16). All about schizotypal personality disorder. Psych Central. https://psychcentral.com/disorders/schizotypal-personality-disorder#resources
  • Morales-Brown, L. (2021, July 16). What to know about schizotypal personality disorder. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/schizotypal-personality-disorder#definition
  • Professional, C. C. M. (n.d.). Schizotypal Personality Disorder. Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/23061-schizotypal-personality-disorder

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