Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Article about Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Feb 10, 2021

The main feature of individuals with schizotypal personality disorder is acute distress and reduced capacity for intimate relationships, along with cognitive or perceptual distortions and eccentricity in behavior. Psychiatrists provide different treatments for this disorder, depending on each individual case. In this regard we can mention former psychiatrist Dr Marshall Hubsher, who has been treating patients with this disorder over the course of his 3-decades long career using medications, psychotherapy or talk therapy, psychosocial interventions and more.

As once it had been explained by Dr Hubsher, who is a graduate from the State University of New York – Downstate Medical Center College, these people often have subclinical psychotic symptoms, such as suspiciousness, and believe that others are talking about them or want to harm them. They have no friends, they feel anxious in social situations, and they can behave in ways that others perceive as bizarre.

From a cognitive point of view, they may have ideas of reference, strange beliefs or magical thinking, bizarre perceptual experiences and suspiciousness or paranoid thoughts, with little or no insight. Furthermore these individuals have improper or limited emotionality and excessive social anxiety and rarely have close friends. Eccentric behavior and the tendency to social withdrawal are two main characteristics. However, obsessive rumination without resistance is also present, often with:

  • Dysmorphophobic, sexual or aggressive contents
  • Vague, detailed, metaphorical or stereotyped speech
  • Occasional and transient quasi-psychotic episodes with intense auditory hallucinations or delusional-like ideas.

Individuals with schizotypal personality disorder are described by others as “odd” and usually have relationships limited to family members. They have difficulty understanding the effect of their behavior on others.

They tend to misunderstand the motivations of others’ behavior by developing a significant distrust of others up to an alteration in thinking that can become delusional and present with short-lasting psychotic symptoms.

Different from schizophrenia where real delusions or hallucinations are present, the person with schizotypal disorder maintains contact with reality and the organization of thought.

Over the years Dr Marshall Hubsher was in practice, he had noticed that schizotypal disorder can be confused with schizoid disorder, since both have decreased levels of social interaction. However, subjects with schizotypal disorder have unusual perceptual beliefs and experiences, magical thinking and unusual behavior and appearance. Those who, on the other hand, have schizoid personality disorder are isolated, detached, and anonymous in appearance. Finally, they do not present subclinical psychotic symptoms.

The key word for schizotypal personality disorder is ‘special, unique and talented’.

The signs of schizotypal personality disorder, such as a greater interest in solitary activities or a high level of social anxiety, can already be traced in the adolescent years. The child may perform below average in school or fail to keep up with peers and, as a result, often be bullied or teased.


Articles authored by Dr Marshall Hubsher

Published: Feb 10, 2021