People with schizotypal personality disorder experience a great deal of distress. They have trouble functioning in life due to eccentric or odd ways of thinking. In that way, this mental disorder is like schizoid personality disorder. But it is a distinct mental health condition. Anxiety and social challenges are part of schizotypal personality disorder.

Individuals with this disorder may not understand how to have relationships. They don’t realize how their odd behaviors impact others. They misinterpret the behaviors and motivation of others. Thus, they tend to develop a significant distrust of others. This can lead to severe anxiety in social situations. In response, the person turns inward. Or they may respond in an inappropriate way to social cues.

Schizotypal Personality Disorder vs. Schizophrenia

Schizotypal personality disorder shares traits of schizophrenia. But it is not the same condition. Schizophrenia is a mental illness in which the individual loses contact with reality. They experience psychosis. People with schizotypal personalities may only experience schizotypal personality disorder symptoms such as brief psychotic delusions or hallucinations. But they are not as intense, prolonged or frequent as individuals with schizophrenia.

Another notable difference is that someone with schizotypal personality disorder has awareness. They can hear it if someone points out an issue. They can grasp the difference between their distorted views of reality and actual reality. People with schizophrenia generally cannot be persuaded that their delusions aren’t real.

Understanding and Treating Personality Disorders

young male sits with hood up and struggles with needing a schizotypal personality disorder treatment programPeople with personality disorders are inflexible. They have fixed beliefs, even though they may be irrational or unreal. Some personality disorders cause people to get lost in their own world. Some move them to behave irrationally. A skilled therapist or medical professional can help. It’s important to have the best care with this kind of mental illness.

This disorder appears in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. One of the features is eccentric behavior. In some cases, people with this disorder tend toward magical thinking and odd beliefs. They may suffer from anxiety and depression, and be prone to loud outbursts when upset. People with this condition also often try to self-soothe with substances. This creates even more problems.

At Promises Treatment Centers, we treat personality disorders and co-occurring issues. We use evidence-based and alternative treatments. Our mental health care professionals offer a personalized approach for each client. Types of therapies and treatment options may include:

  • Psychotherapy: This helps people with schizotypal personality disorder symptoms begin trusting others. They build trust with their therapist and in small groups with peers.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy: Clients develop a healthy way of looking at their mental disorder.
  • Therapeutic distinctions: Clients learn the differences between their perceptions and reality. This helps them react appropriately. It improves ability to function in the real world.
  • Communication skills: Learning to communicate enables clients to develop relationships. They learn to speak to others in a clear and healthy way. It improves their social skills and leads to better social interactions.
  • Coping skills: Clients learn ways to regulate their emotions. This gives them the ability to reduce anxiety and anxiety-provoked behaviors.
  • Self-esteem empowerment: Helping clients to build self-confidence is key. When clients develop self-esteem it leads them toward a more satisfying life.
  • Family therapy: Schizotypal personality disorder treatment also improves relationships. The health and function of the family is important for recovery.
  • Medical management: Some clients need antipsychotic medications and expert psychiatric care.

Common Types of Dual Diagnosis

Our staff is devoted to your healing. We will help with symptoms of schizotypal personality disorder as well as other mental health symptoms including:

Schizotypal Personality Disorder Symptoms

People with schizotypal personality disorder may have the following symptoms:

  • Having unusual perceptions, including delusions
  • Displaying odd, eccentric or peculiar behavior or appearance
  • Odd patterns of thinking and speech
  • Suspicious or paranoid ideas
  • Appearing to have no emotions, or being aloof and isolated
  • Lack of close friends or anyone to interact with beyond relatives
  • Odd beliefs, sometimes magical thinking that is out of touch with reality
  • Incorrectly interpreting events
  • Displaying excessive social anxiety that does not diminish over time and with repeated familiarity
  • Depression and/or anxiety
  • Difficulties with memory, learning and attention

Causes of Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Scientists don’t know what causes schizotypal personality disorder. Most theories about possible causes center on the biopsychosocial model. In this model, the disorder is likely caused by a combination of:

  • Biological and genetic factors
  • Social factors: This may include how a person interacts as a child with family, friends, and other children.
  • Psychological factors, such as personality and temperament

There is likely no single cause. The disorder is the result of complex and intertwined factors.

It’s important to check family history and close relatives. There is a small increased risk for inheriting the disorder. This is usually if a relative has schizophrenia or schizotypal personality disorder. Trauma in childhood is also a factor. Neglect, abuse, or family dysfunction during childhood can contribute.

Schizotypal personality disorder appears in less than 3% of the general population. Like most personality disorders, schizotypal personality disorder decreases in intensity with age. Individuals diagnosed with the disorder may have very few symptoms by their 40s and 50s.

Get Schizotypal Personality Disorder Treatment

Take a step toward healthy living. Our mental health professionals can help. Call us today for a free, confidential consultation:  1.713.528.3709.

Posted on July 21, 2017 and modified on April 13, 2019