Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Schizotypal symptoms are truly odd. These individuals do not quite meet the requirements for a diagnosis of schizophrenia (a more serious disorder), but they show many milder similarities —minus the verbal incoherence and complete loss of touch with reality as seen in active schizophrenia. Schizotypal symptoms include ideas of reference (the words of a popular song “are instructions for me to do something”), strange superstitions, the feeling that they can “read minds”, or that they can see the world through a “sixth sense” (seeing ghosts). These individuals think and talk in odd ways that are elaborate but vague and  complicated; their thinking is paranoid in nature; they show inappropriate or flattened emotions; lack close friends outside of their immediate family; and they show excessive social anxiety and suspicions fears. People with this disorder are at risk for suicide attempts and to be hospitalized with other mental psychological problems.

A Representative Example
The mother brought her child for treatment because he was overly-interested in weapons, combat games, and always wanted to dress in black. The mother showed distinct features of schizotypal personality disorder in that she believed that she could communicate with her dead relatives when she was in a certain mental state. The state she described was that of being tired enough to go to sleep, yet not quit being sleep: but she also had to be in a high state of need or desire to communicate which in order to achieve success. Her mood while elaborately describing this process was high, almost giddy. At times she would become extremely serious and lower her voice to a whisper. The lady also said that she could detect “life forms” in a room without ever seeing them. She proceeded to describe times when she could feel them and later discovered a family pet sleeping behind a piece of furniture. She swore that she had seen the ghost of a former pet (a black puppy wearing a red collar under a table) and asked her therapist not to show skepticism about this event to her son.

Suspected Causes

Schizotypal personality disorder is thought to be associated with odd and confusing family communication styles and may also have a genetic basis. This personality disorder may have biological similarities to schizophrenia Increased levels of the neurotransmitter, dopamine, and enlarged brain ventricles as well as attentional deficits occur in both disorders. There is correlational evidence that relatives of depressed individuals are more likely to show schizotypal disorder. The reverse is also true.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D. ,     3/28/10

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10 Responses to “Schizotypal Personality Disorder”

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  5. is hypnosis helpful in curing sleep disorders Says:

    is hypnosis helpful in curing sleep disorders…

    […]Schizotypal Personality Disorder «[…]…


    • vtmawhinney Says:

      It is true that hypnotic methods have helped many.

      Whether it is the relaxed breathing, muscle relaxation, and mind focus upon neutral things, or some special form of consciousness is still debated. I go with the power of suggestion and an induced meditative state as an explanation.

      There are other behavioral and scheduling methods that can also be helpful.



  6. Frank Fujita Says:

    Oh, another post with provocative theses:


  7. Frank Fujita Says:

    Hi Tom,

    I was wondering if you had an opinion about the information in this other post:

    This has nothing to do with your post, except that they were both posted at about the same time.




    • vtmawhinney Says:

      Great to hear from you, Frank. Hope you are well.

      This matter of porn and its effects on culture is a difficult matter, there are so many conflicting opinions and data sources. The ultimate question for me is what fits with the basic principles/laws of psychology that have been solidly in place for many decades? The perspective that I have gained, based on research data, theory, observations within my private practice, and countless anectotal social observations during my 68 years is to lengthy to put here. Please see my blog for today for some old observatins and new.

      Thanks for the info you have sent. Tom


    • vtmawhinney Says:

      Sorry that I did not get this posted, thought that I did..but did not. I did try to answer your question in a posting a day or two after you asked this question, however.
      Thanks, Tom


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