Schizotypal Personality Disorder Diagnosis

(Also Known As: Schizotypal Diagnosis, Schizotypal Personality Diagnosis, Mood Disorder Diagnosis, Paranoid Diagnosis, Social Anxiety Diagnosis, Delusions Of Reference Diagnosis)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

How is Schizotypal Personality Disorder diagnosed?

DSM-IV-TR Diagnostic Criteria for schizotypal personality disorder:

  • A pervasive pattern of social and interpersonal deficits marked by acute discomfort with and reduced capacity for close relationships as well as by cognitive or perceptual distortions and eccentricities of behavior, beginning by early childhood and present in a variety of contexts as indicated by five or more of the following:
  • Ideas of reference (excluding delusions of reference)
  • Odd beliefs or magical thinking that influences behavior and is inconsistent with subcultural norms (e.g., superstitiousness, belief in clairvoyance, telepathy or sixth sense; in children or adolescents, bizarre fantasies or preoccupations)
  • Unusual perceptual experiences, including bodily illusions
  • Odd thinking and speech (e.g., vague circumstantial, metaphorical, over elaborate or stereotyped)
  • Suspiciousness or paranoid ideation
  • Inappropriate or constricted affect
  • Behavior or appearance that is odd, eccentric or peculiar
  • Lack of close friends or confidants other than first-degree relatives
  • Excessive social anxiety that does not diminish with familiarity and tends to be associated with paranoid fears rather than negative judgments about self
  • Does not occur exclusively during the course of schizophrenia, a mood disorder with psychotic features, another psychotic disorder or a pervasive developmental disorder.
  • NOTE: If criteria are met prior to the onset of schizophrenia, it is considered premorbid: Schizotypal personality disorder (premorbid). 8

Since symptoms of schizotypal personality disorder are similar with those of schizophrenia, it is often misdiagnosed as the latter. The bizarre thinking associated with schizotypal personality disorder can be perceived as a psychotic episode which may lead to a misdiagnosis. Although brief psychotic episodes can occur in schizotypal personality disorder patients, the psychosis is not as pronounced or as frequent as in schizophrenia. Distinguishing it from other schizoid, avoidant, and paranoid personality disorders is another common difficulty in diagnosing schizotypal personality disorder. Some researchers believe that schizotypal personality disorder is basically the same disorder as schizoid, but many feel there are distinguishing characteristics. Schizoids are deficient in their ability to experience emotion, while schizotypals are more pronounced in their inability to understand human motivation and communication. In addition, while avoidant personality disorder has many similar symptoms of schizotypal personality disorder, what sets them apart is that in schizotypal there is the presence of noticeably eccentric behavior. 9

Could You Have Schizotypal Personality Disorder?

Schizotypal Personality Disorder Topics

Related Conditions

Bipolar Disorder – Manic Depression, Mood Disorder, Mania, Depression, Hypomania
Borderline Personality Disorder – Changes in Mood, Unstable Social Relationships, Distorted Self Image, Dissociation
Schizoid Personality Disorder – Disinterested with Social Function, Secretiveness, Emotional Coldness