People with schizotypal personality disorder are often described as odd or eccentric and usually have few, if any, close relationships. They have great difficulty in establishing and maintaining close relationships with others. They generally don’t understand how relationships form or the impact of their behavior on others. They may also misinterpret others’ motivations and behaviors and develop significant distrust of others.
- Being a loner and lacking close friends outside of the immediate family
- Discomfort in social situations
- Peculiar, eccentric or unusual thinking, beliefs or behavior
- Dressing in peculiar ways
- Belief in special powers, such as telepathy
- Behavior or appearance that is odd, eccentric, or peculiar
- Suspicious or paranoid ideas, hypersensitivity, and constant doubts about the loyalty and fidelity of others
- Flat emotions, or limited or inappropriate emotional responses
- Excessive social anxiety that does not diminish with familiarity and tends to be associated with paranoid fears rather than negative judgments about self
Schizotypal personality disorder typically is diagnosed in early adulthood and likely to endure, though symptoms may improve with age. Medications and therapy also may help. Psychotherapy, also called talk therapy, may help people with schizotypal personality disorder begin to trust others by building a trusting relationship with a therapist. Psychotherapy may include, for example, learning specific social skills and behaviors (behavior therapy) or identifying and changing distorted thought patterns (cognitive therapy). Treatment can be more effective when family members are involved (family therapy). Seeking professional counseling as a group may help reduce fighting or emotional distance and improve trust in the home.