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The Loner Disorder: Overview of Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Dean Traylor is a freelance writer and teacher. He wrote for IHPVA magazines and raced these vehicles with his father (who builds them).



Socialization is at the root of the human experience. The way one relates or forms interpersonal relationships with others is paramount to one’s social and emotional health. However, this doesn’t mean everyone will obtain or acquire this ability to relate to others.

Schizotypal personality disorder is a condition in which a person may distance him or herself from social and interpersonal relationship. In a sense, those who suffer from this condition have had an ongoing pattern of purposely becoming an introvert. On top of that, a person with this condition is described as having odd behaviors that may appear antisocial or not becoming of a member of society.

The “Loner” Disorder

There are other behavioral patterns that are associated with this condition. Often, words such as loner, bizarre, eccentric, and the harsh term“weirdo” have been used to describe a person with this personality disorder. With all its characteristics, however, a person with it will often prefer to be alone or isolated from others.

According to the Mayo Clinic website, people with Schizotypal personality disorder often have a hard time engaging others in a social setting. Also, it reports that a person with this condition is more likely to find his or her isolation painful, and will eventually “develop [unhealthy] perceptions about how interpersonal relationships form (Mayo Clinic, 2010).”

As a result, a person with the disorder will have odd behaviors, difficulties communicating with others, inappropriate behaviors or responses to social cues, and peculiar beliefs (in one report, people with this condition are more likely to believe in extra sensory perception (ESP), or paranormal activities).

from DSM-V

from DSM-V

Eccentric Personality Disorders

Schizotypal personality disorder belongs to a class of conditions called eccentric personality disorders. Also, due to the tendency of some sufferers to distort reality, this condition is often confused or referred to as a mild form of schizophrenia – a brain disorder that distorts the way a person thinks, acts, expresses emotions, perceives reality and relates to others (Chakraburtty, 2009). In fact, there are cases when a person with Schizotypal personality disorder later developed schizophrenia (it should be noted that schizophrenia is also one of several factors or signs that a person with Schizotypal personality disorder).

The Symptoms

According to Amal Chakraburtty, M.D. -- writing for WebMD -- there are several symptoms of Schizotypal personality. Here are nine of them.

1. Dressing, speaking or acting in odd or peculiar ways

2. Being suspicious and paranoid

3. Being uncomfortable or anxious in social situations due to his or her distrust of others.

4. Having few friends or being extremely uncomfortable with intimacy.

5. Tending to misinterpret reality or to have distorted perceptions

6. Beliefs in the paranormal, fantasy and superstitions

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7. Preoccupied with daydreaming

8. Uncoordinated or “stiff when interacting with others

9. Appearing to be emotionally distant or cold to others (Chakraburtty, 2009).

Getting help, however, is not easy. People with this disorder rarely go in to be diagnosed or treated for the condition

Possible Causes and Cures

Genetics is believed to be a cause of this condition; however the symptoms are usually first spotted or diagnosed in a person’s early adulthood. Because of the time it is first diagnosed, there are speculations that environmental factors may have contributed to its cause. The condition usually stays with a person for the rest of his or her life.

There are no cures for the condition. Still, there’s treatment to make the condition more manageable. A combination of psychotherapy and medication has been used to treat the disorder (usually antidepressants). In more extreme cases, hospitalization may be used.

Getting help, however, is not easy. People with this disorder rarely go in to be diagnosed or treated for the condition. Usually, those who do are dealing with a disorder that can accompany it such as depression, anxiety or schizophrenia.

Similar Symptoms

It needs to be pointed out that the condition is similar to anxiety; however, unlike those with anxiety disorders who know they have a problem -- but no means to deal with it -- those with Schizotypal personality disorder often don’t believe they have a problem (Chakraburtty, 2009).

A person with Schizotypal personality disorder may appear to be a strange loner; however, if such a person can recognize his or her condition, he/she can seek help and learn to interact and socialize with others.

from page on the personality disorder (when compared to other personality disorders)

from page on the personality disorder (when compared to other personality disorders)

  • Menace or Illness: Overview of Antisocial Personality Disorder
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2016 Dean Traylor


ptosis from Arizona on May 02, 2016:

#1 Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean that they are not out to get me. #2 I distrust everybody because I been F*cked over too many times in my life and now I'm a wind-whipped weather worn wench. I not mad - I just have issues, (said the cow) According to this self test I do not have it :):):)

Wild Bill on April 13, 2016:

Great article, Dean. I definitely prefer to be alone, but luckily I don't have many of the problems that come with it (as seen listed above). I am good with people, I don't dress funny, I am not paranoid, and I don't have anxiety. I just prefer to do what I want to do and when one is with others, they must compromise, which is something I don't want to do with my time. Like you, I also like to eat alone and I once had a girlfriend who couldn't imagine the embarrassment of going to a restaurant and sitting down by herself. Women! lol

Dean Traylor (author) from Southern California/Spokane, Washington (long story) on April 13, 2016:

There's nothing wrong with being a loner. I think many people prefer to be that way (I know I'm like that when I'm at a restaurant). However, this condition tends to be found in people who have other conditions such as schizophrenia or schizoaffictive disorder (which my youngest adopted son's biological mother had).

Lela from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on April 13, 2016:

I have one of the symptoms of being a "loner" (#4), but I don't believe in ESP or the supernatural. I'm not uncomfortable in social situations. Mostly, I just don't like people! They bore me or say things that make me think they are quite unintelligent.

I would prefer to be in a hammock on a tropical island, totally devoid of people, but near enough to a cafe, so I could eat in between reading good books.

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