The Schizotypal personality disorderIt is a disorder characterized primarily by a pattern of eccentric behaviors which manifests itself in aspects such as speech, image or an unusual ideation in the form of cognitive distortionsas well as a low ability to form personal relationships.
Someone with schizotypal disorder may feel extreme discomfort with interpersonal relationships of all kinds, and therefore has no capacity to maintain them.
The DSM-V, a diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, includes schizotypal personality disorder in Group A disorders, also called rare or eccentric disorders, which are characterized by a secluded, strange or distrustful behavior.
Like all personality disorders, schizotypal disorder is characterized by a long-term pattern of behaviors and concrete experiences that hinder normal daily functioning.
- 1 How is it different from schizophrenia or schizoid disorder?
- 2 What are the symptoms of schizotypal personality disorder?
- 3 Treatment of schizotypal personality disorder
How is it different from schizophrenia or schizoid disorder?
Often the schizotypal personality disorder it is often confused with other similar ones like the schizoid disorder or schizophrenia. The three disorders are in the same continuum in which the schizoid disorder is at a softer end and schizophrenia is at the most severe end, with the schizotypal disorder occurring between these two.
Schizotypal disorder seems to share a certain genetic relationship with schizophrenia, but unlike this, this disorder is more moderate Y does not show the symptoms of disconnection from the reality of schizophrenia, such as hallucinations, psychoses or large-scale delusions of the latter.
The schizoid disorder of personality is also in the spectrum of eccentric personality disorders, however, unlike schizotypal disorder, its main symptom is a lack of desire for personal relationships, as well as a restriction of emotional expression and these are not found eccentric behaviors and cognitive distortions.
What are the symptoms of schizotypal personality disorder?
The symptoms of schizotypal disorder should be evaluated by mental health professionals and make up a combination of eccentric behaviors, as well as distorted thoughts and perceptions. It is common for people who suffer from this disorder to be described by others as very strange and with unusual ideas and even magical beliefs. Some of the characteristics that usually describe people suffering from schizotypal disorder are:
- Having eccentric beliefs or magical thoughts such as superstitions, telepathy or "sixth sense." They can see themselves as if they had psychic powers.
- Tendency to misunderstand everyday events or to have distorted perceptions of reality.
- Having an image and clothing, a way of speaking and acting that is peculiar or unusual.
- Show paranoid or suspicious behavior towards others.
- These people may feel uncomfortable in privacy, as well as have few friendships.
- They are usually worried about fancy thoughts and daydreaming frequently.
- In their relationships with others, people affected by this disorder may be distant, rigid and cold.
Other characteristics of this disorder
Schizotypal personality disorder occurs more frequently among mens that among women and as with other personality disorders, it is chronic. Symptoms are usually present constantly and may also include other symptoms such as anxiety or depression. In addition, they may present deficits in cognitive abilities such as memory, learning or attention.
Some experts blame this disorder, like other similar disorders, on biological causes, although it is still unclear why some people have more or less severe symptoms.
Treatment of schizotypal personality disorder
To treat that personality disorder, treatments are usually combined both pharmacological as psychotherapeutic, always prescribed by a mental health professional.
Being a disorder that affects different aspects of life, treatment is usually a combination of cognitive-behavioral therapies that can influence many facets of the patient's life, such as improving socialization or helping to identify and change irrational thoughts and distorted that these people present. They can also receive therapies to achieve greater adaptation to daily life and better family functioning.
As a pharmacological treatment, although there are no specific medications that treat the general disorder, medications that usually affect specific symptoms, such as low-dose antipsychotics are usually prescribed to reduce distorted, anxiolytic or antidepressant thoughts to treat anxiety and depression symptoms respectively.
If you or someone you know has the aforementioned symptoms and believes that your daily life may be affected by them, do not hesitate to consult a mental health professional.