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What Is Schizotypal Personality Disorder?

Learn about schizotypal personality disorder from psychiatrist Ankur Saraiya in this Howcast video.


Schizotypal personality disorder is a disorder in which individuals exhibit odd behavior and odd thinking. They're considered eccentric or bizarre and they'll hold very odd ideas. It's an illness that's compared to schizophrenia and the characteristic or hallmark of Schizotypal personality disorder is that it does not consist of discrete episodes or a gradual decline in functioning, but rather its a state that individuals have across the various aspects of their lives starting from a very early age and these individual, as I said, tend to hold very odd and bizarre beliefs and may be considered eccentric, but they don't have the full one symptoms that people with schizophrenia do. For example they will, generally speaking, not report hearing voices, they won't have oppressive delusions. Although some of their thinking can border on the edge of being delusional thinking because it's so odd and so at odds with the normal thinking or the average thinking of their culture. Again, this is one of those disorders that creates some controversy in psychiatry because it's thought that rather than being a disorder, it's an effort to pathologize the behavior that seems very different from what is considered the norm. But apart from that, it's not clear that it has specific symptoms that lead to distress or specific symptoms that are amenable to treatment, but rather it's a descriptive diagnosis that helps understand that certain individuals can exhibit certain odd behavior and thoughts without having a full blown psychotic disorder. And therefore these individuals generally don't require treatment with medications and the only role for treatment would probably be psychotherapy. So that's a basic overview of Schizotypal personality disorder.

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