Schizotypal Personality Disorder: Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment

What is schizotypal personality disorder?

Schizotypal Personality Disorder

A schizotypal personality disorder is a psychological problem that is characterized by difficulty in maintaining a close relationship. Such difficulty in establishing close relationships is due to thoughts distortions. Because people with schizotypal personality disorder have an eccentric way of thinking and daily behaviors.

People with a schizotypal personality disorder often have an incorrect reference to random events. They always interpret events as related to themselves. For instance, people with a schizotypal personality disorder may think that others who look them in the eyes have bad plans for them. This perceptual distortion leads to paranoia, anxiety and the tendency to turn inward in social situations.

Schizotypal personality disorder typically can be evident even during childhood. Proper treatment can improve the symptoms.

Symptoms of schizotypal personality disorder

People who suffer from this disorder may have the following characteristics:

  • Loner and avoidant in friends, families and other close relationships
  • Interpret harmless events as offensive and threatening
  • Have eccentric behavior, thinking pattern, and beliefs
  • Dress oddly or inappropriately
  • Believe in superstitious and paranormal powers
  • Have illusions
  • Excessively and consistently anxious
  • Have peculiar or vague pattern of speaking during a conversation
  • Always doubt the loyalty of others
  • Inability to appropriately response others’ emotions

Children who suffer from schizotypal personality disorder are aloof and socially anxious. As a result, children with this disorder are often get bullied at school.

Causes of schizotypal personality disorder

Genetic is one of the causes of schizotypal personality. In fact, most of the people suffer from this disorder have schizophrenic relatives. Thus, the link between schizotypal personality and schizophrenia is significant.

However, most professionals believe that the cause of schizotypal personality is a biopsychosocial factor. It is actually a combination of genetics (biological), social factor (how children interact with their early  environment), and the psychological factor (temperament or personality). Therefore, no single factor can be held responsible for this disorder. Rather, it is a complex interaction of several factors that help shape a person.

Treatment of schizotypal personality disorder

Treatment of schizotypal personality is often a combination of medication and psychotherapy. The purpose of psychotheray is to help the client to restore trust to others.

Psychotherapy may include changing distorted thinking pattern and modifying behavioral problems. In addition, psychotherapy can also help the client to foster adaptive skills. Involving family members during the therapy process may be helpful to regain trust to others fast.

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