People with Schizotypal Personality Disorder, or STPD, may think and act in ways that are different from others. They could display unusual thinking patterns and unique behaviors that could be perceived as strange by others. Many individuals who have this condition also have social anxiety and have a hard time forming relationships. Because of all of this, people with STPD are usually very solitary and spend most of their time on their own.
Unfortunately, many of these behaviors and thought patterns are out of a person’s control if they have this disorder. But with timely diagnosis and the right treatment, people with STPD can manage their symptoms and live happy, healthy lives surrounded by people they love.
When a person receives an examination to see if they have STPD, their doctor may ask them questions about their family and their history. This is done to determine the potential root of their condition and to understand what the cause could be. People with one or more risk factors are more likely to have Schizotypal Personality Disorder than those without any. Keep reading to learn about the possible risk factors that could lead to developing this condition.
What Is Schizotypal Personality Disorder?
Schizotypal Personality Disorder is a type of eccentric personality disorder that is on the schizophrenia spectrum. While it is similar to schizophrenia in many ways, STPD doesn’t cause psychosis. Psychosis, which is a main symptom of schizophrenia, involves hallucinations and loss of touch with reality. People with this condition may, however, have what are called ideas of reference: incorrect interpretations of casual incidents and external events.
STPD also has its own set of side effects, which vary in severity based on the individual and typically begin during early adulthood. The main symptoms of this personality disorder include:
- Strange thinking or behavior
- Unusual beliefs
- Discomfort in social situations
- Misinterpreting reality
- Being emotionally distant, aloof, cold
- Limited emotional reactions
- Preoccupation with fantasy or daydreaming
- Lack of emotion or inappropriate emotional responses
- Odd speech that may be vague or rambling
- Being uncomfortable with intimacy
- Having a lack of close friends
- Extreme social anxiety
The side effects above may overlap with those of other mental health disorders. Because of this, it is important for doctors to understand the root of your symptoms before reaching a diagnosis.
What Causes Schizotypal Personality Disorder?
Schizotypal Personality Disorder is not caused by one specific thing, and it is never guaranteed that someone will get it. However, this condition tends to run in families. You may be at a higher risk for developing this STPD if you have a close relative with schizophrenia, schizotypal personality disorder, or another personality disorder. It is also possible that certain environmental factors and childhood experiences could also play a role. These risk factors include abuse, neglect, trauma, stress, having an emotionally detached parent, and more.
Schizotypal Personality Disorder Diagnosis & Treatment
Before Schizotypal Personality Disorder can be treated, it needs to be diagnosed. There is no specific test used to diagnose this condition, but testing usually involves a physical examination and a verbal questionnaire. If you see your primary care doctor for testing, they may refer you to a psychologist for a psychiatric assessment. The psychologist may ask questions about:
- when your symptoms began
- how your symptoms affect your daily life
- if family members have commented on your behavior
- how you feel in social situations
- your experiences at school and work
- your childhood, or any traumas
The answers you give will help the professional make a diagnosis. They may prescribe medication or recommend therapy to treat the condition. While there are no medications specifically designed to treat STPD, people with this disorder may see success from certain antipsychotic or antidepressant drugs. Many types of therapies can help treat this condition, including: psychotherapy (talk therapy), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), family therapy, supportive therapy, and supportive-expressive therapy. It is also important for people with this condition to prioritize managing it in their everyday lives. To do this, they can establish a daily routine, try to sleep well, get plenty of exercise, and make personal goals for themselves.
If you have any questions about STPD and its causes, our team of mental health treatment specialists is here to help. To reach us, give us a call at 866-552-3758 today.