In the world of mental health, numerous terms seem similar but actually describe different things. For the majority of individuals, these terms can be confusing, leading to misinformation and confusion. For example, two terms that often get confused are schizophrenia and schizotypal disorder. 


While there are some similarities, the terms describe two different disorders that require different treatments. By understanding their definitions and how to treat them, those struggling with these disorders can get the proper information and treatment they need in order to fully recover.


What Is Schizophrenia?


Schizophrenia is a type of mental disorder that causes a person to feel out of touch with reality. Symptoms affect how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. Common symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, difficulty processing information, trouble focusing, reduced motivation, decreased pleasure in life, and a “flat affect,” where the person exhibits diminished emotional expression. Schizophrenia is treated using antipsychotic medication and psychosocial treatments.


What Is Schizotypal Personality Disorder?


According to Harvard Medical School, schizotypal personality disorder is characterized by flat emotions, odd speech or behavior, and a preference to be alone rather than with others. Individuals with this disorder are usually uncomfortable being in relationships, often not understanding how they work and misinterpreting other’s motives. Symptoms typically appear in early adulthood and continue throughout life. Treatment usually includes antipsychotic medications, antidepressants, and cognitive-behavioral therapy.


The Main Differences


People often confuse schizophrenia and schizotypal personality disorder for being the same, but there are differences in symptoms. For example, a person with schizotypal personality disorder may have brief psychotic episodes, but they are not as intense or as frequent as those with schizophrenia. Also, individuals with schizotypal personality disorder can usually separate delusions from reality, while those with schizophrenia often cannot. However, both disorders can be treated to give the individual struggling more management of symptoms and a better quality of life.


Schizophrenia and schizotypal personality disorder are often confused for being the same thing. However, there are distinct differences in symptoms that separate the two. Understanding the differences is crucial for individuals that are struggling so they can get the help they need to recover. If you or someone you know is struggling, going to a treatment facility can provide the necessary support to facilitate healing. Alta Loma Transformational Services specializes in addiction and mental illness treatment for men of all ages. Find help today by contacting our experts at (866) 457-3843.