Schizotypical Personality Disorder Definition
Schizotypal personality disorder is a personality disorder characterized by a particular pattern of deficiencies in appearance, behavior, and patterns of thinking and in interpersonal relationships and behaviors.
Personality disorders show persistent and largely consistent patterns of behavior that are characterized by rigid, inappropriate responses in different personal and social life situations. In most cases, persons suffering from a personality disorder experience considerable personal suffering, especially as the social relationships of the person affected are often so severely impaired that their professional and personal performance is significantly reduced.
When diagnosing a personality disorder is problematic that not individual behaviors are referred to as “disorder”, as in other mental illnesses (eg depression or anxiety disorders ), but the assessment of the overall behavior, or the character of a person takes place. Thus, it is often difficult to draw a line between salient personality traits and a disturbed personality.
Speech usage in people with schizotypal personality disorder may include divergences, odd uses of words, or a remarkably weak vocabulary. Those affected usually experience distorted thinking, behave strangely (in the eyes of others) and often avoid intimacy. Schizotypal personality disorder is classified informally into the group of “eccentric” personality disorders. People with these disorders often seem strange or strange. You can also view unusual patterns of thinking and behaviors.
If anything, people with schizotypal personality disorder usually have few close friends and feel nervous when they are brought in contact with strangers. Nevertheless, in most cases they have a stable social environment, with a stable relationship and a stable job.
People with this personality disorder and their associated symptoms are at an increased risk of being placed in cults.
The “strange” appearance, behaviors, and attitudes of people with schizotypal personality disorder can lead to distorted perceptions of reality. In this regard, the disease is often confused with schizophrenia . Finally, it can also happen that people with schizotypic personality disorder develop schizophrenia . Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that is chronic and should be treated unconditionally.
Schizotypical Personality Disorder Symptoms
People with this disorder are particularly sensitive and may appear on other schizophrenia. The beliefs (aliens, witchcraft or spiritual spirits) of those affected are, however, usually “stranger” than their behavior and can often complicate interpersonal relationships or isolate the person concerned. Hallucinations, however, are not common. People with schizotypal personality disorder show a combination of strange behavior, speech patterns, thoughts, and perceptions. Other people often describe these people as strange or eccentric. Additional features of people with this personality disorder are the following:
• Discomfort in social situations
• “Strange” beliefs, fantasies or concerns (eg overly superstitious or thinking of spiritual powers)
• “Strange” behavior or appearance
• “Weird” language
• No or very few friends
• Inappropriate feelings in certain situations
• Distrust and paranoia
• Tend to misinterpret reality or perceive it distorted (eg confusion of sounds with voices)
• Often busy with fantasies or daydreams
• Tend to seem stiff and awkward, especially in connection with strangers
• Act on others emotionally distant, reserved, or cold
Schizotypical Personality Disorder Root Cause
The cause of schizotypic personality disorder is unknown. Genetics seems to play a role in the development of schizotypal personality disorder. This disorder is more common in relatives of people with schizophrenia and typically develops in early adulthood. Innate temperament coupled with a person’s unique responses to life events, childhood relationships, and the development of coping skills all play a role in the development of schizotypal personality disorder. Risk awareness, such as a family history of schizophrenia , can enable early diagnosis.
Schizotypical Personality Disorder Treatment
Schizocypic patients seldom seek treatment independently for their personality disorder, but rather for the treatment of other mental health problems such as depression or anxiety disorders . Some people receive antipsychotic medications to reduce certain symptoms. However, the medications should be taken in combination with a personal therapy. In some cases, especially in times of crisis or extreme stress, severe symptoms could develop that would mean hospitalization for a short time. Subsequently, a therapeutic treatment is even more important in order not to isolate the people socially and thus also to protect from other mental health problems, such as depression or anxiety disorders .
Nevertheless, most treatments show no significant progress in those affected. Therefore, it is more important to many schizotypical people to lead an isolated but satisfying existence. Medications are usually not the focus of treatment for personality disorders . In psychotherapy, the “cognitive behavior,” treatment approach for behavior modification may be to help people with schizotypal personality disorder learn to recognize and control some of their “bizarre” thoughts and behaviors. Again, stigmatization isolates these people, not their behavior. The prognosis depends on the severity of the disease. Like all personality disorders , schizotypal personality disorder is usually chronic.
As with many other mental illnesses, stigmatization is the major problem and cause for greater suffering for those affected and their relatives. In addition to the formal and ordinary treatment system, support groups, family help, interest groups or other social services could also provide support. In any case, it has been proven that any form of treatment is most effective when family members are involved and supportive.
American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th Ed.)
National Institutes of Health,
US Department of Health and Human Services,
International Society for the Study of Personality Disorders (2015). Journal of Personality Disorder. New York, NY / USA: The Guilford Press