Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Magical, special and different

Information about Schizotypal Personality Disorder – presentation, symptoms and treatment.

Schizotypal Personality Disorder Beliefs

A person with a schizotypal personality may hold unusual beliefs that involve superstitions, magic or special abilities (such as telepathy).  They can come across as daydreamy and their thinking is often disorganised, with their interpretation of events appearing strange and random. Their outlook on life is that they are different from everyone else. 

Missing Interpersonal Ability:

Communication and Sociability

They may have similar interpersonal difficulties as schizoid individuals, but also a high level of social anxiety.  They may show peculiar or bizarre mannerisms and seem aloof.  Their dress sense may seem unusual, and could include a ‘uniform’ that they wear each day.  Individuals are likely to be socially isolated, and may appear to drift through life.  They could use words in an unusual and unclear manner and also have paranoia.  

Schizotypal personality disorder

I am different from everyone

Beliefs about self

Others are confusing and different.

Beliefs about others

The world does not make sense

Beliefs about the world

Schizotypal Personality Disorder: overlap with other disorders

Schizotypal PD is seen to be a pervasive personality issue, whereas schizophrenia is viewed as a psychotic disorder. Those with Schizotypal PD are unlikely to have some of the psychotic features seen in schizophrenia (hallucinations and delusions).  The beliefs held by people with Schizotypal PD are part of their everyday life and functioning.  Generally, it is felt the beliefs of those with schizophrenia are abnormal and impact negatively on living their life.  Research suggests that there is a strong genetic relationship between the two disorders since some of the symptoms and abnormal patterns in the brain found in people with schizophrenia have also be found in people with Schizotypal Personality Disorder. 

Robert lives alone and has no interest in living with other people.  He believes that he is able to speak to people who have passed away, and influence other people’s actions, and so connects with others who have a similar interest.  He works as a shop assistant in a local clothes shop and dresses in a way that makes him stand out from others.  When he speaks with others he often brings in mythical or magical ideas, which can make people wary of him.  

He can jump from one topic to the next, making it hard to understand him.   He has had relationships in the past however these have ended because he has found it hard to tolerate his partners wanting to have a social life, and struggled to understand their lifestyle choices.

example presentation

Treatment options

If you think you may have this Personality Disorder, please contact your GP in the first instance to talk about your treatment options.

There are no formal recommendations for therapy of Schizotypal PD.  There is emerging evidence that social skills training can have positive effects in managing some social aspects of this.  Other Personality Disorder specific therapies may also help, including Schema Therapy or Mentalisation Based Therapy (MBT).

There are also no specific guidelines on the use of medication for this diagnosis.  Some research highlights that anti-psychotic medication is the most frequently used to treat Schizotypal PD, however no thorough reviews of effectiveness have been completed.

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