Definition

What is schizotypal personality disorder?

People with schizotypal personality disorder are often described as odd or eccentric and usually have few, if any, close relationships. They generally don’t understand how relationships form or the impact of their behavior on others. They may also misinterpret others’ motivations and behaviors and develop significant distrust of others.

These problems may lead to severe anxiety and a tendency to turn inward in social situations, as the person with schizotypal personality disorder responds inappropriately to social cues and holds peculiar beliefs.

Schizotypal personality disorder typically is diagnosed in early adulthood and is likely to endure, though treatment, such as medications and therapy, can improve symptoms.

How common is schizotypal personality disorder?

Schizotypal personality disorder tends to occur in about 3% of adults, more often in males than in females. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Symptoms

What are the symptoms of schizotypal personality disorder?

The common symptoms of schizotypal personality disorder are:

  • 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.

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.

Causes

What causes schizotypal personality disorder?

Personality is the combination of thoughts, emotions and behaviors that makes you unique. It’s the way you view, understand and relate to the outside world, as well as how you see yourself. Personality forms during childhood, shaped through an interaction of inherited tendencies and environmental factors.

In normal development, children learn over time to accurately interpret social cues and respond appropriately. What exactly goes wrong for a person with schizotypal personality disorder isn’t known for certain, but it’s likely that changes in the way the brain functions and genetics may play a role.

Risk factors

What increases my risk for schizotypal personality disorder?

There are many risk factors for schizotypal personality disorder, such as:

  • A family history of schizophrenia, schizotypal personality disorder, or another personality disorder.
  • Environmental factors, especially childhood experiences. These factors include abuse, neglect, trauma, stress, having a parent who is emotionally detached.

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is schizotypal personality disorder diagnosed?

People with schizotypal personality disorder may seek help from their primary care provider because of other symptoms such as anxiety, depression or angry outbursts or for the treatment of substance abuse.

After a physical exam to help rule out other medical conditions, your primary care provider may refer you to a mental health provider for further evaluation.

Diagnosis of schizotypal personality disorder typically is based on:

  • Thorough interview about your symptoms
  • Your personal and medical history
  • Symptoms listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association

How is schizotypal personality disorder treated?

If your doctor diagnoses you with STPD, your doctor may prescribe medication or therapy to treat it. No medications are designed to treat STPD specifically. However, some people with this condition benefit from taking antipsychotic or antidepressant drugs if they’re experiencing symptoms that their doctor thinks be improved with these medications.

Several types of therapy can help treat STPD. Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, can help you learn how to form relationships. You can get this type of therapy along with social skills training to help you feel more comfortable in social situations.

Cognitive behavioral therapy can help you address some of the behaviors associated with your condition. Your therapist can help you learn how to act in social situations and respond to social cues. They can also help you learn to recognize unusual or harmful thoughts and change them.

Family therapy may be helpful, especially if you live with others. It can help you strengthen your relationships with family members. It may also help you to feel more supported by your family.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage schizotypal personality disorder?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with schizotypal personality disorder:

  • Positive relationships with friends and family
  • A sense of achievement at school, work and in extracurricular activities

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: August 11, 2017 | Last Modified: August 11, 2017

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