Differences between schizoid disorder and schizotypal disorder

There are all kinds of people in society and therefore personality is something that is given in a very variable way, Present / display any type of shooting with more or less intensity in the population.

However, there are people whose personality stands out above what is considered normal and even causes them some kind of harm, rubbing or fully entering psychopathology.

Personality disorders are diverse, being divided into three groups: A, B, and C. In this article, we will differentiate two from those found in group A, which are schizoid disorder and schizotypal personality disorder.

Because of their name, it’s easy to confuse them, besides assuming that they have something to do with schizophrenia.

While in both disorders, those who suffer from it are characterized by not being very socially adapted, besides attracting attention above others, the truth is that they have several fundamental differences. Let’s see what they are.

What are Schizoid Disorder and Schizotypal Disorder?

Schizoid disorder and schizotypal disorder are two disorders included in the group of personality disorders. These two disorders are included in group A of personality disorders, along with paranoid disorder, characterized by the presentation of a strange and eccentric pattern of thought and behavior.

Schizoid and schizotypal disorders are characterized by progressive social disinterest, Besides having problems establishing and maintaining relationships with other people. They also share the fact that they exhibit a huge lack of interaction with others, although it should be noted that the two disorders manifest as differentiated symptoms.

In both disorders, the person has an appearance that stands out from the rest, especially in the case of people with schizotypism, who usually dress more strikingly.

Differences between these two personality disorders

We will find out below how schizoid disorder and schizotypal disorder are different.

1. Sociability

In schizoid personality disorder, the person has little interest in social and sexual relationships with other individuals.

Such people prefer solitude to the company of others. For this reason, they usually don’t have many friends, being the only people that the closest relatives interact with.

This is also possible to observe – because schizoids typically work in jobs that don’t require a lot of human interaction, such as computer scientists, programmers, mathematicians, among others.

In contrast, for people with schizotypal personality disorder, the reason they don’t have a proper social relationship is not that they don’t want to have friends, but that they are afraid of having friends. ‘interact with others.

They are very sensitive to possible criticism from others, which leads them to enter a spiral of suspicion that others do not want, which generates fear and a high level of anxiety. .

2. Paranoia

Linked to the previous point, schizoid people are indifferent to other people’s opinions and criticisms, even if they are positive.

Because of this, they are not prone to paranoia, because no matter what other people say or do, they just see that it is wrong with them and that they should not be worried about.

On the other hand, people with schizotypes may come to think that others are talking about it.

Paranoia and the suspicion that others keep criticizing her, or that the world thinks bad things about her, causes them, as we discussed in the previous point, to suffer from high levels of social anxiety.

3. Seek help

Having seen the first two differences, it’s easy to see why people with schizotypal self-choose to take therapy voluntarily more often than those with schizotypal personality disorder.

The desire to have healthy social relationships but not being able to establish or maintain them over time makes people with schizotypal personality disorder feel terribly ill and may develop symptoms of depression.

Social anxiety is experienced in a way that can even become crippling, with its very noticeable impact on the daily life of the patient.

These two points make the person realize that sooner or later he needs help, or at least that his immediate environment is aware that a visit to a professional is necessary.

On the other hand, schizoids, not wanting to have more social connections than they have already established or strictly necessary, do not see their personality type as something that poses some kind of problem.

They do not take the first steps to improve the quality of their relationships with others, being the family environment which generally decides to make this decision, forcing it to consult a psychologist or psychiatrist.

4. Fantasy and magical thinking

In both disorders there is a tendency to take refuge in a world in your mind.. Schizoids and schizotypes use the imagination as a mechanism to escape reality and get to a place that they have control over and that is safe for them.

The difference is in the extent to which the patient knows that this world is not real. Schizoids, even though they use fantasy to escape reality, are aware that the world in their minds is not real.

This, however, should not be so clear to a schizotypal person. They can even hear voices and be convinced that they are real.

They also tend to have magical beliefs, such as that they can have psychic powers and believe in superstitions.

5. Relationship with schizophrenia

Although schizophrenia and schizoid and schizotypal disorders are etymologically linked, starting with the Greek particle “skhizo” (“to divide, to divide”), one could say that this is the little that they share.

The three disorders involve a different symptomatologySchizophrenia is a serious mental health disorder, while schizoid and schizotypal personality disorders involve differentiated behavior and thinking patterns.

However, these two personality disorders differ in their relationship to schizophrenia. Specifically, Schizotypal Personality Disorder exhibits certain symptoms related to severe mental disorder, particularly related to its psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations, delirium, and paranoia.

While in schizotypal disorder, fantastic ideas, magical thinking, and paranoia are considered milder than in schizophrenia, they are related.

In fact, there is a real risk that a person with schizotypal personality disorder will eventually get worse and develop complete schizophrenia.

Some experts have come to defend the idea that schizotypal personality disorder could be considered a milder type of schizophrenia.

Bibliographical references:

  • Akhtar, S. (1987): Schizoid Personality Disorder: A Synthesis of Developmental, Dynamic and Descriptive Characteristics. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 151: 499-518.
  • American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed., Rev. Text).
  • Pulay, AJ; Stinson, FS; Dawson, DA; Goldstein, RB; Cabbage, SP; et al. (2009). “Prevalence, Correlations, Disability, and Comorbidity of DSM-IV Schizotypal Personality Disorder: Results of the Wave 2 National Epidemiological Survey of Alcohol and Associated Conditions.” Primary care fellow in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 11 (2): 53-67.
  • Raine, A. (2006). “Schizotypal personality: neurodevelopmental and psychosocial trajectories”. Annual review of psychology. 2: 291-326.

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