Schizotypal Personality Disorder

by Sam Malone


Before we go ahead one should remember that schizotypal personality disorder and schizophrenia are not the same thing, although the symptoms may appear to be the same. Schizotypal personality disorder is a less severe case, where patients may have strange beliefs and have problems with relationships, but they will not hallucinate or be disjointed from reality.

Schizotypal personality disorder is a type of behavioral disorder that is difficult to classify. In fact, some international medical organizations do not even have a definition for schizotypal personality disorder. According to the American Psychiatric Association, schizotypal personality disorder is defined as an all-inclusive pattern of interpersonal and social deficits, which manifest as an acute discomfort with, or a decreased capacity for, close personal relationships. It also involves perceptual or cognitive behavioral eccentricities that begin in the late teens and present themselves in many different contexts.

Symptoms

Since schizotypal personality disorder is a behavioral disorder, it is hard to set down a list of symptoms; however, there are a few characteristics that are common to all schizotypal personality disorder sufferers and are used as a guideline by psychiatrists.

Listed below are a few of the symptoms of schizotypal personality disorder.

  • Different ideas of identity (concept of self and others is not clear)
  • Unrealistic goals and aspirations
  • Lack of empathy
  • Unnecessary anxiety in relationships
  • Needless mistrust in relationships
  • Odd behavior (saying or doing odd things)
  • Unusual thought process
  • Unusual sensory perceptions
  • Bizarre experiences (have unusual experiences in reality)
  • Cold and indifferent to emotional stimulus
  • Prefer to be left alone
  • Suspicious personality traits
  • Feels persecuted by others a lot
  • Doubts loyalty of those who are close
  • Paranoid behavior
  • Lack of friends
  • Poor relationship skills

Causes

Nobody knows exactly what causes schizotypal personality disorder. Of course, genes are considered responsible, but even now, no one knows for sure exactly how one develops this disorder. There are a number of theories around such as

  • Social factors
  • Environmental facts
  • Genes

Yet, as of now they are only theories.

Treatments

Schizotypal personality disorder is a borderline behavioral disorder. In many cases, the only negatives will be under developed social skills and very less interpersonal relationships. Both of these are highly manageable, and in many cases, those suffering from schizotypal personality disorder do not seek medical help at all.

Prognosis is not too bad, and medical intervention is advised only if you are a parent who feels that the child has schizotypal personality disorder or if your problems are causing you severe hardship.

References

  1. www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001525.htm

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