Schizotypal Personality Disorder: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
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Schizotypal Personality Disorder: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Information about the causes, symptoms and treatment of Schizotypal Personality Disorder.

Schizotypal personality disorder is known as an eccentric personality disorder. People with this disorder often show odd and unusual behaviors and have beliefs that others find strange. These individuals are extremely uncomfortable with close relationships. Schizotypal personality disorder occurs in about 3 percent of the population and is more common in males. This disorder is sometimes shown during childhood or adolescence, but symptoms usually start to show during early adulthood.

Symptoms

The symptoms of schizotypal personality disorder are very similar to those of schizophrenia. It is easy to confuse these two disorders. The difference main between the two disorders is that delusions and hallucinations are far more frequent in the person who has schizophrenia. The symptoms of schizotypal personality disorder include:

  • The lack of close friendships
  • Odd behaviors, beliefs or thoughts
  • Ideas that are suspicious or paranoid
  • Acting, behaving or thinking in a strange manner
  • Being uncomfortable in social situations due to mistrust of others
  • Inappropriate emotional responses
  • Belief that one has special powers
  • Having a preoccupation with make believe
  • Uncomfortable with intimacy
  • Distorted perceptions

Causes

The cause of this disorder is unknown, but schizotypal personality disorder seems to have a biological link. It is more commonly seen in relatives of a person with schizophrenia than it is with the general population.

Diagnosis

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.), a person must show a pervasive pattern of social and interpersonal deficits marked by discomfort with close relationships. The person must also have cognitive or perceptual distortions. These criteria have to have begun during early adulthood and must be indicated by five or more of the following:

1. Ideas of reference

2. Odd beliefs and/or magical thinking that influence behaviors

3. Strange perceptual behaviors

4. Odd thinking and speech patterns

5. Suspiciousness or paranoia

6. Constricted affect

7. Odd, eccentric or peculiar behaviors or appearance

8. Lack of close friends

9. Excessive social anxiety due to paranoia or mistrust

The above criteria can't occur during the course of mood disorder with psychotic features, schizophrenia or any other psychotic disorder, or pervasive developmental disorder.

Treatment

Medications and therapy are the most common treatments for schizotypal personality disorder. There isn't a medication for this disorder, but doctor's sometimes prescribe anti-depressants or anti-psychotic medications, which help treat other mental health issues that the person may have. Common therapies include; behavior, cognitive and family therapy.

Reference:

American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text rev.). Washington, DC

Mayoclinic.com

Webmd.com

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Comments (3)

Wow, you just reminded me that the current DSM is 11 years old. A lot of diagnostic advances have been made. Time for a new one!

They are making a new DSM. It's just taking them a while. When it comes out, I plan on buying it. I guess putting it together is quite a chore.

Great coverage of a worrying mental disorder!

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