Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Schizotypal Personality Disorder

What is Schizotypal Personality Disorder?

Schizotypal personality disorder is a pattern of social and interpersonal difficulties that includes a sense of discomfort with close relationships, eccentric behavior, and unusual thoughts and perceptions of reality. Speech may include digressions, odd use of words or display “magical thinking,” such as a belief in clairvoyance and bizarre fantasies. Patients usually experience distorted thinking, behave strangely, and avoid intimacy. They typically have few, if any, close friends, and feel nervous around strangers although they may marry and maintain jobs. The disorder, which may appear more frequently in males, surfaces by early adulthood and can exacerbate anxiety and depression.

Symptoms of Schizotypal Personality Disorder

People with this disorder may be severely disturbed and might appear schizophrenic. More commonly, however, patient beliefs (aliens, witchcraft, possessing a “sixth sense”) are stranger than their behavior, and may often keep them isolated from normal relationships. Hallucinations, however, are not a common symptom.
Schizotypal personality disorder typically includes five or more of these signs and symptoms:

  • Being a loner and lacking close friends outside of the immediate family
  • Incorrect interpretation of events, such as a feeling that something which is actually harmless or inoffensive has a direct personal meaning
  • Peculiar, eccentric or unusual thinking, beliefs or mannerisms
  • Dressing in peculiar ways, such as appearing unkempt or wearing oddly matched clothes
  • Belief in special powers, such as mental telepathy or superstitions
  • Unusual perceptions, such as sensing an absent person’s presence or having illusions
  • Persistent and excessive social anxiety
  • Peculiar style of speech, such as vague or unusual patterns of speaking, or rambling oddly during conversations
  • Suspicious or paranoid thoughts and constant doubts about the loyalty of others
  • Flat emotions or limited or inappropriate emotional responses

Signs of schizotypal personality disorder, such as increased interest in solitary activities or a high level of social anxiety, may be seen in the teen years. The child may be an underperformer in school or appear socially out of step with peers, and as a result is often bullied or teased.

Causes of Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Exact causes of Schizotypal Personality Disorder is unknown, however, one must not confuse it with Schizophrenia. Schizotypal personality disorder (SPD) has many phenomenological, genetic, physiologic, and neuroanatomical commonalities with schizophrenia. Low-dose Risperidone is one of the possible treatments, but an expert psychiatric must be consulted as there’s a fair chance of getting confused between both Schizotypal and Schizophrenia.

Complications with Schizotypal Personality Disorder

People with schizotypal personality disorder are at an greater risk of

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Work, school, relationship and social problems
  • Other personality disorders
  • Problems with alcohol or drugs
  • Suicide attempts
  • Temporary psychotic episodes, usually in response to stress
  • Schizophrenia

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