What is the difference between schizophrenia and schizotypal disorder?

04 Jul
Minaish Dhabhar

Hi everyone.

So I was wondering if someone could tell me: What are the differences between schizophrenia and schizotypal disorder? Are there common symptoms? If so, what are they?

A lot of people easily get confused between both so I'd appreciate it if you could clear up the confusion. Also, can a person have both at the same time?

Thank you. 

Responses 1

  • Manaswini Venkateswaran
    Manaswini Venkateswaran   Jul 04, 2017 03:48 PM

    Schizophrenia is a psychological disorder, while schizotypal is a personality disorder. The reason people get confused between the two is that they both have delusions (unusual or odd beliefs) as a common symptom. For this reason, schizotypal personality disorder is termed as a "schizophrenia spectrum disorder".

    For a diagnosis of schizophrenia, at least one of the following symptoms have to be present -
    1) Delusions - unusual beliefs, misinterpreting reality 
    2) Hallucinations - seeing or hearing things that are not there 
    3) Disorganised behaviour - odd behaviours 

    These, along with other symptoms such as a reduction in speech, a lack of emotional expression and lowered motivation to engage in daily activities call for a diagnosis of schizophrenia. 

    Schizotypal disorder, on the other hand, is a personality disorder characterised by social detachment (not having any friends or close relations other than immediate family, engaging in solitary activities, never wanting company) as well as these odd or unusual beliefs. 

    In fact, their reasons for being socially detached are these odd and unusual beliefs. For example, a person with schizotypal personality disorder may stay away from everyone because he/she feels that they can all read his/her mind. 

    The key difference is that schizophrenia develops over a shorter span of time and schizotypal disorder develops as early as late childhood or adolescence. Since there are these differences, the effects of schizotypal are a lot more enduring, so treatment will also vary. 

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