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Schizotypal Personality Disorder

What is Schizotypal Personality Disorder?

Individuals who suffer from Schizotypal Personality Disorder don’t tend to have many close friends and often have a hard time understanding how their behaviors may impact those around them. In addition, they tend to not trust others because they often misinterpret others’ motivations and behaviors.

What are the symptoms of Schizotypal Personality Disorder?

In order for an individual to be diagnosed with Schizotypal Personality Disorder, 5 or more of the following symptoms must be present:

  • Not having friends outside the immediate family (i.e. loner)
  • Misinterpretation on events (i.e. something may be harmless, but they think it has a direct personal meaning)
  • Eccentric or unusual thinking
  • An individual may dress in a peculiar way (i.e. oddly matched clothes)
  • An individual may have a strong belief in powers (i.e. telepathy)
  • An individual may have unusual perceptions (i.e. seeing someone that is not there)
  • An individual experiences social anxiety
  • An individual has a peculiar style of speech (i.e. vague or rambling)
  • An individual is often feeling suspicious and doubtful about the behavior of others
  • An individual does not express much emotion, it is limited

Individuals who suffer from this disorder also have a higher risk of developing depression, anxiety, Schizophrenia, problems with alcohol or drugs, other personality disorders, and are more likely to attempt suicide. Also, they have a higher risk of having social, work, school, and relationship problems.

What is the difference between Schizotypal Personality Disorder and Schizophrenia?

Although individuals with Schizotypal Personality Disorder can experience brief psychotic episodes with delusions and hallucinations, the episodes are not as frequent or intense as they are with individuals with Schizophrenia. Also, individuals with such personality disorder are often aware of their delusions and can distinguish from reality whereas individuals with Schizophrenia cannot.

What causes Schizotypal Personality Disorder?

Although the cause is not yet known, it is believed that an individuals environment, brain functions, and genetics may play a role in the development of such disorder. Therefore, an individuals’ chances of developing such disorder is greater if they have a relative who suffers from it or any other psychotic disorder.

How is Schizotypal Personality Disorder treated?

Usually, an individual is treated with a combination of psychotherapy and medication.

Psychotherapy:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
    • Distorted thoughts are identified and then the therapist works with the individual to change the distorted thoughts and replace them with more rational ones
  • Supportive Therapy
  • Family Therapy
    • Involving family may help reduce fighting or emotional distance
    • Can help improve the trust at home

Medication:

Although there is not one approved medication to treat such disorder, doctors may prescribe the following to treat certain symptoms:

  • Antipsychotic
  • Mood stabilizers
  • Antidepressant
  • Anti-anxiety drug

What can I do to help myself cope with Schizotypal Personality Disorder?

  • Develop a positive relationship with your loved ones
  • Look at the achievements at school, work, or even in extracurricular activities
  • Stick to your treatment
  • Ask questions
  • Educate yourself and loved ones on the subject
  • Seek professional help