Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Doctors diagnose personality disorders based on a thorough interview about your symptoms as well as your personal and medical history. Often people with schizotypal personality disorder seek help because of other symptoms such as anxiety, depression or angry outbursts or for treatment of substance abuse. A physical exam will help rule out other medical conditions, and a mental health provider will likely be consulted for further evaluation.

To be diagnosed with schizotypal personality disorder, a person must meet the symptom criteria listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). This manual, published by the American Psychiatric Association, is used by mental health providers to diagnose mental illnesses and by insurance companies to reimburse for treatment.

For a diagnosis of schizotypal personality disorder, at least five of the following criteria must be met:

  • Incorrect interpretations of events, such as a feeling that something which is actually harmless or inoffensive has a direct personal meaning
  • Odd beliefs or magical thinking that's inconsistent with cultural norms
  • Unusual perceptions, including illusions
  • Odd thinking and speech patterns
  • Suspicious or paranoid thoughts, such as the belief that someone's out to get you
  • Flat emotions, appearing aloof and isolated
  • Odd, eccentric or peculiar behavior or appearance
  • Lack of close friends or confidants other than relatives
  • Excessive social anxiety that doesn't diminish with familiarity

In addition, to be diagnosed with schizotypal personality disorder, a person must never have met the criteria for any other schizophrenic disorder.

April 11, 2013