Symptoms of Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Effect on Relationships

Individuals with schizotypal personality disorder do not have close friends or confidants, except for first-degree relatives.

They are very uncomfortable relating to people. They interact with people if they have to but prefer not to because they feel like they are different and do not belong.

However, they may say their lack of relationships makes them unhappy.

They are very anxious in social situations, especially unfamiliar ones. Spending more time in a situation does not ease their anxiety.

Individuals with this disorder may ignore ordinary social conventions (for example, not make eye contact), and because they do not understand usual social cues, they may interact with others inappropriately or stiffly.

Odd Thinking and Behaviour

Individuals with schizotypal personality disorder have odd ways of thinking, perceiving, and communicating.

The following are examples:

  • Ideas of reference:
    • Individuals with these ideas think that ordinary occurrences have special meaning just for them.
  • Magical thinking:
    • Individuals think that they have magical control over others.
    • For example, they may think that they cause other people to do ordinary things (such as feed the dog) or that they can perform magical rituals to prevent harm (such as washing their hands 3 times to prevent illness).
  • Paranoia:
    • Individuals are suspicious and mistrustful and wrongfully think that other people are out to get them or intend to harm them.
  • Paranormal powers:
    • Individuals think they have paranormal powers, enabling them to sense events before they happen or to read other people’s minds.

Speech may be odd. It may be excessively abstract or concrete or contain odd phrases or use phrases or words in odd ways.

They often dress oddly or in an unkempt way (for example, wearing ill-fitting or dirty clothes) and have odd mannerisms.

Perception of Reality

In individuals with schizotypal disorder, perceptions (what they see, hear, or sense) may be distorted. For example, they may hear a voice whispering their name.