Schizotypal personality disorder and schizophrenia have numerous similarities. However, both have differences in their symptoms and diagnostic criteria.

Schizotypal personality disorder (STPD) and schizophrenia are both conditions on the schizophrenia spectrum. They affect a person’s behavior and thinking.

While STPD is a personality disorder, schizophrenia is a serious mental health condition. Although the conditions share similarities, they are two distinct conditions with various differences.

This article discusses how STPD and schizophrenia differ. It also discusses diagnostic criteria and current treatments for both conditions.

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STPD and schizophrenia have differences in their symptoms and how doctors classify and diagnose them.

People with schizophrenia often experience characteristic psychotic symptoms. These include hallucinations and delusions that cause them to lose their sense of reality. People with STPD do not experience these symptoms.

Therefore, doctors classify schizophrenia as a psychotic disorder. They classify STPD as a personality disorder involving thought and behavioral patterns that affect a person’s everyday life.

STPD is a personality disorder that affects a person’s behavior.

People with STPD display behaviors that others might call unusual or odd, such as:

  • discomfort with and difficulty forming close relationships
  • unusual or magical beliefs, such as believing in superstitions or telepathy
  • excessive social anxiety
  • odd or unusual behavior
  • unusual thinking patterns
  • suspiciousness
  • distorted perceptions that are not hallucinations
  • unusual speech
  • unusual ways of expressing themselves

Research from 2018 suggests that the prevalence of STPD may range from 0.6 to 4.6%, depending on the population. Males are also more likely to develop STPD than females.


Mental health and healthcare professionals may use both psychotherapy and antipsychotic medication to treat STPD.

However, there is currently no cure or specific treatment for STPD. The aim of treatment is to manage a person’s symptoms and improve their quality of life.

Scientists are continuing to evaluate and investigate STPD treatments. In a 2018 article, researchers reviewed the diagnosis and treatment methods for STPD. They found that the most effective treatment for STPD is the medication risperidone, followed by olanzapine.

Read more about STPD.

Schizophrenia is a mental health condition that affects a person’s thinking, feelings, and behavior. A person with schizophrenia may experience gradual changes in their thinking, mood, and how they function in social situations. Symptoms vary from person to person but may include:

  • psychotic symptoms that affect how a person experiences reality, such as:
    • hallucinations, including hearing voices
    • delusions, or strong beliefs that are not true
    • difficulty thinking
    • difficulty with movement, or repetitive movement
  • negative symptoms, such as:
    • loss of motivation
    • loss of interest or enjoyment in daily activities
    • withdrawal from social life
    • difficulty showing emotions
  • cognitive symptoms that affect a person’s attention, concentration, and memory, making it hard for them to:
    • follow conversation
    • learn new things
    • remember appointments

According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), schizophrenia affects less than 1% of the U.S. population. People with a family history of schizophrenia may be more at risk of developing it. Certain life experiences and environmental factors may also increase a person’s risk factors.


Although there is no cure for schizophrenia, some treatments effectively reduce a person’s symptoms. These treatments help people with schizophrenia manage the condition, improve daily functioning, and achieve life goals. They include:

  • antipsychotic medications
  • psychological treatments such as:
    • cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
    • supportive psychotherapy
    • behavioral skills training
  • support and care programs

Read more about schizophrenia.

Healthcare and mental health professionals diagnose a person with STPD if they meet five out of nine criteria. These criteria are outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-5-TR).

DSM-5-TR is the standard classification of mental conditions used by health professionals in the United States. For STPD, the criteria are:

  • magical thinking, or unusual and odd beliefs
  • unusual or odd thinking and speech patterns
  • a lack of close friends
  • paranoid ideation, or suspiciousness
  • constant and excessive social anxiety that may be associated with paranoia
  • bodily illusions, or unusual perceptions
  • false belief that random events directly relate to a person
  • inappropriate reactions
  • behavior or appearance that others may see as odd, eccentric, or peculiar

Mental health professionals also use the DSM-5-TR to diagnose schizophrenia. To do so, a person must have two or more symptoms for a significant portion of 1 month’s time. They must have signs of disturbance for at least 6 months, including at least 1 month of symptoms that include:

  • delusions
  • hallucinations
  • disorganized speech
  • grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior
  • negative symptoms

People must also have social or occupational dysfunction. This is being unable to function typically in social situations or at work.

The following are some questions people frequently ask about STPD and schizophrenia.

What is the main difference between schizophrenia and schizotypal personality disorder?

The main difference between schizophrenia and STPD is that people with schizophrenia often have psychotic symptoms, such as changes in the way they think, act, and experience the world. People with STPD do not.

What is the difference between schizophrenia and schizoid disorder?

Schizoid disorder is a condition where a person shows very little interest or ability in forming relationships. People with schizoid disorder do not experience hallucinations or a disconnect from reality. People with schizophrenia do.

Is schizotypal personality disorder a form of schizophrenia?

STPD is a schizophrenia-spectrum disorder. It shares some symptoms with conditions on this spectrum, but it is a different condition from schizophrenia.

STPD and schizophrenia can have some similar symptoms, but they are distinct conditions. Mental health professionals classify them differently and have different criteria for diagnosis.

People with schizophrenia often experience psychotic symptoms, whereas people with STPD do not.

Although there is no specific treatment for STPD, doctors may use medication and psychotherapy to treat a person’s symptoms. They often use different types of therapy and medication to treat schizophrenia. These treatments often help manage a person’s symptoms and improve their quality of life.