Schizotypal Personality Disorder

  • Definition

    Schizotypal personality disorder is a personality disorder characterized by odd behaviors, beliefs, thoughts, and difficulties in social situations. People with personality disorders are not aware that their thoughts and behaviors are inappropriate.
  • Causes

    It is not clear what causes personality disorders, but it is likely a combination of genetic factors and a person's environment.
    Frontal Lobe of the Brain
    Frontal lobe
    Although the cause of personality disorders is not clear, it is believed that the frontal lobe is where personality and impulses arise.
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  • Risk Factors

    Schizotypal personality disorder is more common in men. People who have relatives with schizophrenia may have an increased chance of developing schizotypal personality disorder.
  • Symptoms

    Schizotypal personality may cause:
    • Odd or eccentric dress and grooming
    • Unusual style of communication
    • Illusions
    • "Magical" thinking
    • Peculiar, outlandish, or paranoid ideas or beliefs
    • Difficulty forming relationships
    • Social anxiety
    • Talking to self
  • Diagnosis

    You will likely be referred to a psychiatrist or other mental health professional who will ask you about your symptoms and mental and medical health history. A diagnosis will be made after a complete psychiatric assessment that rules out other disorders, such as schizophrenia, dissociative disorders, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, or other personality disorders.
  • Treatment

    Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Options include:
    Counseling
    Counseling is often beneficial for people with schizotypal personality disorder. Counseling sessions focus on helping you gain insight into your personality disorder and changing your behavior.
    Medications
    Currently there is no medication available specifically for this condition. However, in some cases antipsychotic medications may be used to help treat distorted thinking.
    Other Treatments
    Other treatments, such as group therapy and social skills training, can help you to manage symptoms.
  • Prevention

    There are no current guidelines to prevent schizotypal personality disorder.
  • RESOURCES

    Mental Health America http://www.nmha.org

    National Institute of Mental Health http://www.nimh.nih.gov

    CANADIAN RESOURCES

    Canadian Mental Health Association http://www.cmha.ca

    Canadian Psychiatric Association http://www.cpa-apc.org

    References

    Personality disorders. Mental Health America website. Available at: http://www.nmha.org/index.cfm?objectId=C7DF8E96-1372-4D20-C87D9CD4FB6BE82F. Accessed July 22, 2013.

    Schizotypal personality disorder. DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated December 15, 2011. Accessed July 22, 2013.

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