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Schizotypal Personality

People with schizotypal personality disorder are characterized by oddities of thinking, perceiving, communicating & behaving. These diversions are never as extreme as those found in full-blown cases of schizophrenia. Still, the clinicians often feel the need to probe for possibility of major distortions like hearing voices & having ideas tha don't seem to make sense. A person must have at least five of the characteristics described in the picture to be considered to have a schizotypal personality disorder.

People with this disorder, like schizoid individuals, are seclusive, emotionally shallow & socially unskilled. However, the speech pattern of the two groups are quite different. People with schizoid personality disorder have no oddities in speech, though they lack social skills. Those with schizorypal, on the other hand , often are not understood because they use unusual words & phrases or use common words in unusual ways. They also are likely to express ideas unclearly.

At times, usually when they are under stress, their thinking deteriorates & they may express ideas that seems delusional. These cognitive & perceptual characteristics are probably the most important ones in distinguishing schizotypal personality disorder from the borderline & schizoid personality disorder. Behavior of people with schizotypal disorder, may, at times, border on the bizarre. Much of the time they seem suspicious, superstitious & aloof.

Persons with paranoid, schizoid & schizotypal personality disorders have in common a degree of social detachment & the presence of "odd" or idiosyncratic behavior, which can be observed in much more extreme form in schizophrenia. Paranoid personality disorder is characterized by suspiciousness & mistrust of others, schizoid personality disorder by the preference of solitary activities & schizotypal personality disorder by eccentricity & cognitive - perceptual distortions.

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