What Is Schizotypal Personality Disorder?

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The American Psychiatric Association characterize personality disorders as a way of “thinking, feeling and behaving that deviates from the expectations of the culture, causes distress or problems functioning, and lasts over time.” There are ten types of personality disorders listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). Though each personality disorder has its own set of symptoms and traits, the DSM-5 organized the ten personality disorders by clustering them into three distinct categories (Cluster A, B, and C). Schizotypal personality disorder (STPD) falls under Cluster A personality disorders, which, as defined by the Mayo Clinic are generally characterized by eccentric, odd thinking and/ or behavior. Specifically, schizotypal personality disorder is characterized by a pattern of intense discomfort with close relationships, social anxiety, and distrust of others. The exact cause behind why an individual develops schizotypal personality disorder remains unknown, but research has found that it is likely due to a combination of psychological, biological, genetic, and environmental factors.

Signs and Symptoms

The symptoms of schizotypal personality disorder include five or more of the following signs and symptoms, provided by the Mayo Clinic:

  • Persistent and excessive social anxiety
  • Flat emotions
  • Lacking close friends outside of one’s immediate family
  • Belief in special powers (e.g., mental telepathy, superstitions, etc.)
  • Suspicious and/ or paranoid thoughts
  • Unusual or eccentric thinking, beliefs, or mannerisms
  • Dressing peculiarly (e.g., wearing mismatched clothing, appearing unkempt, etc.)
  • Odd style of speech (e.g., vague, or unusual patterns of speaking, rambling during conversations, etc.)

Most people with STPD are diagnosed in early adulthood. Individuals diagnosed with schizotypal personality disorder often lead solitary lives. Although STPD is on the schizophrenia spectrum, it is uncommon for individuals with schizotypal personality disorder to experience psychosis. 

Treatment

Schizotypal personality disorder is considered a chronic mental illness. The treatment process for individuals diagnosed with STPD involves helping an individual learn to live with his or her diagnosis. Although there is no universal treatment plan for individuals diagnosed with STPD, as the nuanced needs of each person will vary, there is an array of treatment options available. Treatment plans for schizotypal personality disorder could include a variety of therapeutic modalities such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), creative arts therapies, group therapy, family therapy and more. There is currently no medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat schizotypal personality disorder, but depending on the needs of the individual, medication such as antipsychotics or antidepressants may be incorporated into one’s treatment plan. Through treatment an individual will learn useful social skills to aid in mitigating discomforts in social situations and learn strategies to form and maintain meaningful relationships. 

For Information and Support 

If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-318-3777. You are also welcomed to contact anytime us via email at admissions@hhtxc.com.

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