Not to be confused with schizophrenia, nor schizoaffective disorder (which it is often confused with simply due to its name), schizotypal personality disorder is in a league of its own.
The biggest distinction in diagnosis, at least, is that schizotypal disorder is one of the personality disorders (along with borderline, obsessive-compulsive and several others, including a few mentioned below).
Delusions and hallucinations are the hallmark of schizoaffective disorder, almost akin to schizophrenia. In schizotypal disorder, however, these two traits are not so extensive as they are with people with schizophrenia.
Because many schizotypal disorder symptoms interestingly mimic those of other mental illnesses, a closer look helps to pull apart some distinguishing features while explaining schizotypal disorder at the same time.
Those with schizotypal disorder have difficulties establishing close relationships, not unlike those with borderline personality disorder. People with schizotypal disorder tend to have hardly any such capacity, however. Many with borderline tendencies are capable of having mates and closer friends.
Schizotypal eccentricities in everyday behavior mirror histrionic personality disorder, although the latter apparently has eccentricity more of appearance and dress than of functionality.
Like those with narcissistic personality disorder, people with schizotypal disorder misinterpret events, facts and incidents in the external world as “having a particular and unusual meaning specifically for the person.” (The definition may sound like someone simply self-absorbed, however).
The preceding may be better understood by considering it with a related symptom: ”People with this disorder may be unusually superstitious or preoccupied with paranormal phenomena that are outside the norms of their subculture.”
They are known for just plain “odd beliefs or magical thinking that influences their behavior.” Some indeed seem to have “sixth sense.” (All of this, perhaps notwithstanding a more minor sixth sense sensitivity some people have, also brings it awfully close to histrionic personality disorder.)
Particularly peculiar perceptual distortions occur with schizotypal disorder, along with odd thinking, odd speech, and even an odd aura about the person’s projected way of being. These things, of course, could be easily confused with symptoms of thought disorders, but squarely seem to land again in the land of what just might be the closest apparent cousin, histrionic personality disorder.
Inappropriate, constricted or ‘flattened’ affect, as well as severe social anxiety: Mood disorder is written all over the first, no? People with schizotypal disorder are more paranoid in their anxiety rather than the focus on self-image being the cause with social anxiety disorder.
Generally, schizotypal disorder symptoms might be seen as a mixed blend — unusually similar to many other conditions, and with a great emphasis of shared traits with histrionic personality disorder. It is yet still a truly unique diagnosis.