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Schizotypal personality disorder – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

A schizotypal personality disorder is a personality disorder characterized by odd and eccentric behavior and discomfort with close relationships. The pattern of cognitive distortion of behavior typically begins by early adulthood and is likely to endure across the lifespan.

The individual with STPD may develop severe anxiety in social gatherings and often tend to lead solitary lives.

What is Meant by Schizotypal personality disorder?

Schizotypal personality disorder (STPD), also known as Schizotypal disorder, is a behavioral disorder. Individuals with STPD may have thought disorders, negative thinking, paranoia (unrealistic distrust), and social anxiety. They often get identified to have eccentric or odd behavior. If left untreated Schizotypal personality disorder can lead to serious life-threatening complications including, chronic depression, low-self esteem, or suicidal behavior.

What Causes Schizotypal Personality disorder?

While there is no specific cause, several factors and conditions can contribute to STPD behavior. Some of the possible factors associated with STPD includes,

  • Social stressors such as a negative environment
  • Psychological strains
  • Physical disabilities
  • Neurological disorders
  • Genetic factor- hereditary cause
  • Parental or childhood trauma
  • An adverse effect of medication
  • Addiction

What Are the Symptoms of Schizotypal Personality disorder?

Typically, STPD includes five or more of these signs and symptoms:

  1. Flat emotions inappropriate emotional responses
  2. Being a loner and lacking friends 
  3. Persistent social anxiety
  4. Incorrect interpretation of events
  5. Peculiar, eccentric mannerisms or beliefs 
  6. Praniod or suspicious thoughts and constant doubts about others’ loyalty 
  7. Belief in special powers
  8. Unusual perceptions or having illusions
  9. Dressing in peculiar ways
  10. Peculiar style of speech

When to Consult a Doctor for Schizotypal Personality disorder?

If you suspect or experience any one or more of the symptoms. It’s always better to have a consultation with a mental health professional at the earliest .Some symptoms that need urgent attention include: 

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Feeling empty all the time
  • Persistent anxiety 
  • Sudden change in behavior
  • Sudden episodes of wanted anger
  • Dysthymia- chronic depression disorder

At Apollo Hospital, our expert team of psychiatrists and mental health professionals is committed to providing holistic care for your Schizotypal personality disorder.

Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment

What Are the Treatment Options for Schizotypal Personality disorder?

There is no standard approach to treat STPD. However, few therapies can help the individual with STPD to manage their symptoms. These therapeutic options are subjective and usually decided upon the basis of various parameters such as the age, patient`s health, and severity of the STPD conditions. 

Some of the treatment methods that your doctor may recommend includes,

  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy: It is a psycho-social intervention treatment that may help the STPD individual to identify and change underlying thought patterns. Cognitive behavior therapy may help you feel better about your present condition.
  • Support Therapy: It is talk therapy, where individuals with STPD are allowed to vent out inner emotions. Support therapy may also help you cope up with the stressors (factors causing stress) and challenges.
  • Support-Expressive Therapy: It is similar to that of Support therapy. Here the psychologist creates a positive, empathetic  relationship with the patient. It helps patients to regain control over their emotions.
  • Family Therapy: It is psychotherapy that deals with the treatment of interpersonal relationship problems. Consulting a family therapist may help you to address symptoms caused by conflicts in relationships.
  • Medications for STPD: Currently, no medications are approved by FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to treat Schizotypal personality disorder. However, some antidepressant drugs such as Fluoxetine, Citalopram, and Escitalopram can help patients relieve the stress associated with the STPD.

Difference between Schizotypal Personality Disorder and  Schizophrenia 

Schizotypal personality disorder can be confused easily with schizophrenia.  schizophrenia is a mental disorder in which, people usually lose contact with reality (psychosis). Although people with STPD may experience brief psychotic episodes they are not as intense or frequent as in schizophrenia . Another key differentiation is that those with schizotypal personality disorder can generally be made aware of the difference between their distorted reality and ideas. 

Conclusion

A schizotypal personality disorder is a fairly common personality disorder characterized by eccentric and odd  behavior. Although STPD individuals suffer lifelong behavioral problems, through proper treatment and psychological support therapies, they can lead a productive life and get integrated with society.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How is Schizotypal personality disorder Diagnosed?

There is no standard diagnostic test specially designed for STPD. Like many other mental disorders for diagnosis of Schizotypal personality disorder, your primary care doctor may recommend you to see a psychiatric consultant who is trained to treat such mental disorders.

How Can You Prevent Schizotypal Personality disorder?

Although there are no definite guidelines to prevent STPD, some of the following measures may decrease mental health problems, including STPD.

  • Prevention of child abuse or childhood trauma
  • Seeking immediate professional help 
  • Avoiding drugs or alcohol 
  • Practicing mindfulness- meditation
  • Validating  your emotions

How do I prepare for psychiatric consultation?

  • Make a note of all your symptoms and concerns
  • Take all your medical reports  
  • Keep a list of your recent medications
  • Be prepared to discuss your emotions openly 
  • Be honest about your concerns 
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