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Schizotypal Personality Disorder: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Schizotypal Personality Disorder (STPD), like Schizoid Personality Disorder and Schizophrenia, leaves people unsure of what to do in society. They never learned how to respond to the things people do and say, at least not appropriately. As they enter adulthood, this and other symptoms of the disorder leave them feeling out of place, like social misfits.

More Symptoms of Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Mental health experts explain that symptoms of Schizotypal Disorder are not the same as those noted in similar conditions. A person is not as flat or cold as a person with Schizoid symptoms. She might have psychotic phases, but they are short-lived, whereas Schizophrenics live in delusional worlds much of the time if they go without treatment.

Perhaps the most striking feature of the disease is that a person will stand out visually, wearing odd, maybe mismatched or out-of-date clothing. She does not know how to present herself socially to blend in. Other unusual elements of her thinking include weird beliefs not held by the majority of people around her.

These individuals believe in supernatural abilities and possibilities which even pseudoscience dismisses. Some reports say sufferers speak strangely, not necessarily clearly, and they do not know when to stop once they start.

One minute this person is unemotional; unresponsive to drama or enjoyment. The next she is paranoid about what people are doing and saying, perhaps even anxious. Some people develop anxiety disorders.

If she ventures into society at all, it is to maintain one or two friendships, and even these can only become close to a limited extent. People with STPD spend much of their time alone because they do not understand how to behave or respond in society.

Schizotypal Personality Disorder Causes

Therapists reading family history will often note how a mother, grandparent, or other direct relation was eccentric or unusual. She might have exhibited odd tendencies, spent a lot of time on her own, been irritable, or been suspicious of everyone, even her children. To some extent, the condition sounds like Alzheimer's, but is completely different. This disease will frequently improve as a person gets older.

If genetics are not the factor, a lonely and abandoned childhood might be. Without interaction from family members, and time spent in public with parents to teach the right and wrong ways to respond to situations, a person will not learn what her peers are learning by doing those very things.

She is not going shopping, to barbecues, visiting playgrounds, and so on, like the other children. It is common in homes where alcohol or drugs are abused for a child to spend too much time on her own and learn to distrust not much else from her family.

Schizotypal Personality Disorder Treatment

Few people with mental health conditions realize they are clinically unwell. Their relatives suspect this is the case. To prevent a decline in suicidal thinking or anxiety and improve a person’s life will require therapy, possibly a prescription for medication.

Conduct an intervention as a way to prompt this person to consider getting help. Mental health practitioners will point clients towards the professionals who conduct interventions with families.

They are also able to refer clients to centers for the treatment of mental illnesses. Many inpatient centers cater to the needs of individuals with various behavioral and personality disorders 24 hours a day for weeks at a time.

Groups of adult men and women learn to accept and live with their conditions and to mitigate the worst symptoms. They receive coaching on how to find social services. Some are given vocational training to get them back to work.

The most important skill taught to someone with STPD is the ability to function in society without being offensive, feeling suspicious, or choosing to withdraw completely and avoid people for fear of embarrassment, being hurt, or hurting others. It is unlikely that one would realize at the time what she was doing, but others might tell her. This kind of honesty is important, but is also a blow to self-confidence.

There are good reasons to learn how to socialize appropriately in rehab. One is that groups are made up of people who understand what it means to be a social outcast. They get why you are wary: they feel the same way. This is encouragement in itself. Performing in front of people who have it all together would be intimidating, at least before a person has rehearsed in group therapy.

In groups of people with similar disorders, clients show their therapists and group leaders what they are capable of so professionals know when their clients are ready to leave.

There is no specific medication currently developed or approved for use for STPD. If a person sees anything available, it is worth questioning its source before taking it. Certain drugs can be effective for treating depressive symptoms as well as periods of psychosis.


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