What Is Schizotypal Personality Disorder?

Schizotypal personality disorder is characterized by bizarre, eccentric perceptions, feelings, and behaviors. This not only affects a person’s ability to function, but in the long term increases the risk of other serious problems. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to examination and treatment as soon as possible.

Schizotypal personality disorder

Schizotypal personality disorder is a type A personality disorder that affects about 4% of adults

What is Schizotypal Personality Disorder?

Schizotypal Personality Disorder (STPD) is also known as schizophrenic personality disorder. This is a mental disorder that belongs to group A personality disorder along with paranoid personality disorder and schizoaffective personality disorder ScPD.

Like other personality disorders, STPD is characterized by a consistent pattern of thinking, feeling, and interacting with others. It tends to cause significant serious problems for those who have it.

Specifically, STPD tends to be associated with odd, eccentric patterns of thinking and behavior, and unusual cognitive experiences. People with this condition tend to be lonely and uncomfortable in social situations. They may also be paranoid, but the level of suspicion does not rise to the level of delusion.

Statistics show that Schizotypal personality disorder affects about 4% of adults. Of these, it occurs more often in men than in women. STPD is thought to be part of a chain of illnesses associated with schizophrenia.

Causes of Schizotypal personality disorder

Currently, there is no specific cause for Schizotypal personality disorder. However, like most other mental disorders, STPD is understood to be the result of a combination of factors. Such as biological vulnerability, way of thinking or social stressors.

Here are some factors that may increase your risk of developing Schizotypal personality disorder:

  • Biologically: People with STPD are thought to have less brain matter in certain areas. There is also an abnormality of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. Along with that are some similarities to brain abnormalities in people with schizophrenia.
  • Neurodevelopmentally: People with STPD often show differences in the way they form new memories (future memories), along with how their brains respond in the face of situations. social situation.
  • Family history: Having a family history of mental illness is one of the risk factors for developing Schizotypal personality disorder. People with an immediate family member with STPD have a 50% increased risk of developing the condition.
  • Social risk factors: These include being born in winter or summer, higher birth order, having lower family socioeconomic status in childhood, physical and sexual abuse during childhood, etc. STPD was also found to occur more frequently in black women than in other women independent of socioeconomic factors.

Causes of Schizotypal personality disorder

Family history of mental illness may increase risk of Schizotypal personality disorder

In addition, several other factors may also be involved, such as:

  • People born to mothers who smoked during pregnancy
  • Have a lower birth weight and a smaller head circumference at 12 months of age
  • Medical conditions such as childhood epilepsy
  • Have parents who have difficulty communicating?
  • Children using marijuana for the first time before age 14
  • Children have early puberty

Signs of Schizotypal Personality Disorder

People with Schizotypal personality disorder often experience extreme discomfort during interpersonal interactions. They are not even comfortable even being exposed to the same people in the same environment over and over again.

This disorder is also associated with distorted thinking and eccentric behavior. Sick people tend to push people away, even creating isolation. Symptoms and signs that are associated with Schizotypal personality disorder may include:

  • Feeling that strangers are paying attention or somehow communicating with yourself
  • Weird beliefs or magical thoughts that influence behavior and don’t conform to cultural norms. Such as superstition, telepathy, belief in clairvoyance or sixth sense.
  • In children and adolescents, bizarre beliefs may involve bizarre fantasies or obsessions.
  • May experience changes in perception. For example, hearing someone mutter your name or sensing that a spirit is present.
  • Weird thoughts and words (such as words that are vague or contain too much detail, are metaphorical, stereotyped, or overly elaborate)
  • Be restrained and show little emotion during interactions with others. Or there may be unusual behaviors, such as untidy dressing.
  • Can sometimes express sadness over the lack of close relationships. However, the behavior shows that I do not have much desire to have close relationships.
  • Experiencing transient psychotic episodes during periods of extreme stress (usually lasting minutes to hours). However there are no hallucinations or delusions frequently.

signs of Schizotypal personality disorder

Patients may experience transient psychotic episodes during periods of extreme stress

Distinguish between Schizotypal personality disorder and schizophrenia

Despite the potential connection, Schizotypal personality disorder (STPD) should not be confused with schizophrenia. There are several key differences to keep in mind when distinguishing between these two disorders. Consists of:

  • The fundamental difference between these two disorders revolves around the main symptoms of schizophrenia, which are hallucinations and delusions. Both STPD and schizophrenia can include odd social behaviors and strange beliefs.
  • However, some people with STPD do not experience hallucinations and delusions.
  • Distorted thinking is a central feature of STPD, a far cry from the psychosis (complete detachment from reality) that occurs with schizophrenia. Although in rare cases, people with schizotypal can still experience low-intensity psychosis.
  • The differential diagnosis of schizotypal and schizophrenia also considers the presence of several co-occurring disorders. Secondary mood disorders often accompany Schizotypal. Meanwhile, schizophrenia rarely co-occurs with mood disorders.

distinguish STPD as schizophrenia

STPD and schizophrenia may be related but must be distinguished

Differentiate between STPD and schizoid personality disorder ScPD

Many people confuse Schizotypal personality disorder with ScPD (Schiziod) personality disorder. Because both types of these diseases belong to group A personality disorders. However, they have different symptoms and levels of danger. Attention should be paid to the following key information to distinguish:

  • Schizoid Personality Disorder ScPD (Schiziod): This disorder involves a persistent lack of interest in close relationships. Patients are often uninterested in both praise and criticism. At the same time not caring about other people’s feelings, being emotionally and emotionally limited with others. People with ScPD tend to avoid socializing with other people or situations where they might interact with others.
  • Schizotypal Personality Disorder (STPD): This disorder is associated with eccentric, eccentric thoughts, perceptions, speech, and behavior. Although the symptoms are severe enough to be diagnosed as a personality disorder, they are not severe enough to be diagnosed as schizophrenia. Compared with ScPD, STPD is more dangerous.

What are the effects of Schizotypal personality disorder?

People with Schizotypal personality disorder are more likely to experience anxiety or depression. In addition, they also tend to have poor social skills and lack of close relationships.

Without prompt treatment, the person becomes even more uncomfortable in social situations. This can lead to more self-isolation.

Specifically, STPD may increase certain risks, such as:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Other personality disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Temporary episodes of psychosis (usually in response to stress)
  • Problems with alcohol or drugs
  • Work, school and relationship problems or social problems
  • Attempts to commit suicide

consequences of STPD

Schizotypal personality disorder may increase the risk of depression

Diagnosis of Schizotypal personality disorder

There is no specific test that can accurately assess whether a person has Schizotypal personality disorder. If you are concerned you may have this condition, you can test yourself with an online test. Such as:

  • Schizotypal personality questionnaire
  • Oxford-Liverpool’s Inventory of Feelings and Experiences (O-LIFE)
  • Rust Inventory of Schizotypal Perception
  • Community Review of Psychic Experiences
  • Schizotypal Personality Scale

To determine the presence of Schizotypal personality disorder, your doctor will conduct a mental health interview looking for the history and presence of symptoms. Doctors need to work to rule out other mental disorders.

Screening for mood problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, and other personality disorders should be screened. Such as antisocial personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, etc. In addition, problems with drug abuse, schizophrenia or delusional disorder should also be ruled out.

Your doctor should also try to make sure you don’t have a medical problem that could potentially cause the same emotional symptoms as STPD. Your doctor will often ask you about the time of your last physical exam, blood test, or any other test that the medical professional deems necessary.

The diagnosis will not be established if it occurs only during the course of other diseases. Such as schizophrenia, depressive disorder with psychotic features, bipolar disorder, or autism spectrum disorder.

Schizotypal personality disorder diagnosis

When there are signs of suspicion of STPD, it is necessary to see a doctor for an early diagnosis

According to the DSM-5, symptoms of Schizotypal personality disorder must begin before adulthood. To meet the diagnostic criteria, the patient must experience at least 5 of the following symptoms:

  • Idea of ​​reference (incorrect interpretation of incidents or events is unusually significant).
  • Bizarre beliefs or magical thinking influence behavior and are inconsistent with cultural norms.
  • Experiencing abnormal perception, including body delusions.
  • Quirky thoughts and words.
  • Doubt and paranoia.
  • Odd, eccentric behavior or appearance.
  • Lack of close friends or confidants who are not first-degree relatives.
  • Excessive social anxiety, unrelieved, tends to be related to paranoid fears rather than negative self-evaluations.

Symptoms may begin during childhood or adolescence. Some symptoms that are evident in childhood may include:

  • Poor friendship relationship
  • Social anxiety, tendency to self-isolate
  • Not achieving results at school
  • Hypersensitivity
  • There are special thoughts and languages
  • Weird fantasies

Treatment of Schizotypal personality disorder

Treatment for Schizotypal personality disorder usually involves a combination of psychotherapy and medication. In addition, a number of other solutions can also assist to help manage symptoms and lead a better life. As follows:

1. Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy can help people with Schizotypal disorder begin to trust others. Also learn coping skills by building a trusting relationship with a counselor.

Psychodynamic therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may be used:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): This is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on helping a person understand how their thoughts and behaviors affect each other. The emphasis on improving social skills is particularly important in addressing social deficits. While this is again part of Schizotypal personality disorder.
  • Psychodynamic therapy: Also known as psychoanalytic therapy. The main goal of this therapy is to find ways to help individuals understand and better manage their own defenses against negative emotions.

In addition to the two main therapies mentioned above, family therapy is also believed to bring many benefits to people with STPD. Involving family members improves communication, trust, and the ability to work together in the home.

2. Drug use

To date, there are no medications specifically approved to treat Schizotypal personality disorder. However, some medications can be used to address some of the accompanying symptoms such as paranoia, magical thoughts, odd behavior, depression or anxiety. Medications that may be prescribed by a doctor include:

Antipsychotic drugs:

Antipsychotics are also known as neuroleptics. They are effective in treating symptoms of paranoia, mood swings, or emotional instability. However, this group of drugs has many potential side effects.

Some antipsychotic medications that may be used include:

  • Chlorpromazine (Thorazine)
  • Haloperidol (Haldol)
  • Fluphenazine (Prolixin)
  • Thiothixene (Navane)
  • Perphenazine (Trilafon)
  • Thioridazine (Mellaril)
  • Clozapine (Clozaril)
  • Asenapine (Saphris)
  • Iloperidone (Fanapt
  • Brexpiprazole (Rexulti)

– Antidepressants:

People with Schizotypal personality disorder are more likely to experience depression. Therefore, certain antidepressants may also be prescribed by a physician to benefit the management of related symptoms. Such as:

  • Venlafaxine (Effexor)
  • Duloxetine (Cymbalta)
  • Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq)
  • Levomilnacipran (Fetzima)
  • Bupropion (Wellbutrin)

Schizotypal personality disorder medication

In many cases, your doctor may prescribe medication to better control related symptoms

Any medication given to an STPD patient should be taken exactly as prescribed by a doctor. Ensure compliance with dosage, frequency and duration of medication. As for antidepressants, absolutely do not stop using them suddenly. If you experience any abnormalities with your medication, notify your doctor immediately.

3. Other support solutions

Positive lifestyle adjustments may be the key to helping you cope better with Schizotypal personality disorder. Forming relationships – although this is difficult to do – has the potential to alleviate the anxiety associated with this disorder.

In addition, a sense of accomplishment may also alleviate symptoms. You should actively seek work, go to school, volunteer or participate in other community activities to better support the management and treatment of STPD.

4. The role of the family

Family support and love is said to be effective with Schizotypal personality disorder. Family members need to pay attention that the patient is still able to perceive reality. Therefore, the family needs to increase their trust and try to bring the patient back to reality, avoiding fantasies. This will help gradually control the symptoms of the disease.

Family members should spend more time caring, loving and connecting with the sick person. Listen, encourage and encourage the patient to have faith in others and in himself. The connection to society should start from the family. Then slowly lead the patient into the larger world. This helps the patient no longer feel too scared.

The family should absolutely not deny or express harsh attitudes to the patient’s magical delusions. Because this can stimulate psychological anger. It is best to go slowly and slowly to help the person feel cared for and cared for. Over time, the vague states will also gradually subside.

Schizotypal personality disorder has a lot of effects and severely reduces quality of life. However, if the patient is motivated to change and serious about early treatment, the disease can be controlled. In which psychotherapy, medication and family support play a particularly important role.

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