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Explaining Schizotypal Personality Disorder

persons with STPD has irrational way of thinking/ Photo By WilmaVdZ via Shutterstock

 

In this world, many people may be described as eccentric or odd. Those that suffer from Schizotypal Personality Disorder (STPD) are just some of the people who are characterized as peculiar.

Harvard Medical School states that these individuals are characterized by their irrational way of thinking. They cling to bizzare ideas that do not conform to the prevailing ones. For instance, they may get the belief that they have extra sensory perception (ESP) or may claim to have unusual body experiences.

The Citizen says since most people tend to be cynical about such strange beliefs, they may feel anxious or uncomfortable around the general public. This may also be why they struggle with interacting when it comes to interacting with people and would rather stay away.

This type of personality disorder is part of the Cluster A disorders or the suspicious personality disorders as stated in the Handbook of Clinical Neurology.

According to Internet Mental Health, 3.9% to 4.6% or the American population has been diagnosed with Schizotypal Personality Disorder.

What Are Its Symptoms?

- The Mayo Clinic identifies the symptoms to watch out for, to be able to determine if the person has Schizotypal Personality Disorder.

- A person with STPD is usually a loner. They tend to not be acquainted with anyone other than their family.

- They also often misinterpret events. For example, they may think that something that was inoffensive may actually have a direct meaning to them.

- These individuals also have strange patterns of thought, beliefs and mannerisms. Likewise, they may also dress in an odd fashion. They may wear mismatched clothes or have a messy appearance.

- They also have the belief that they possess unique powers. They may say that they are able to perform telepathy. They are also believers of superstitions.

- Their social anxiety never goes away. It is excessive and constant ans is fueled by paranoid beliefs. It does not fade out even when they become familiar with another person.

- Their manner of talking is also peculiar. They have a vague way of speaking and may ramble in the course of the conversation.

- They also always doubt other people’s loyalty to them. They also appear emotionless or barely change their facial expressions.  They are also known to have inappropriate emotional reactions.

- The mentioned symptoms typically manifest in an individual’s teenage years. They may display more interest in activities that are better done alone. They may not have had a good academic record or were the most socially inept among their peers. As a product of this, they may have become victims of bullying or were probably teased quite often.

 

persons with  STPD have strange patterns of thought/ Photo By Nicoleta Ionescu via Shutterstock

 

What Are the Risk Factors and the Causes?

The exact cause of STPD has not yet been found. However, Medicinenet.com explains that it can be caused by a combination of factors.

Using the biopsychosocial model, it is elaborated that a person’s manner of thinking, their biological weaknesses and what has stressed them socially can be reasons for why they have developed this mental health condition.

It is revealed that those who suffer with STPD have some differences in the brain compared to an average one, both structurally and developmentally. Those who have this mental health condition are found to have lesser brain matter in some of their brain regions.

It was also found that their brain abnormalities resembled those of the ones who suffer from Schizophrenia. Their brains also had a different way of creating new memories and reacting to social situations.

Genetics is also one of the attributed reasons. If the person is related to people who have a history of acquiring mental illness, they may also be prone to inheriting the disorder. If they have a first-degree relative who exhibits the STPD symptoms, there is a 50% chance they may have it.

If a woman smokes during her pregnancy, she may give birth to child with a lighter birth weight and a head circumference smaller than that of a normal 12-month-old baby. This can heighten the child’s risk of getting the disorder. A child born with epilepsy may have complications that can lead them to having STPD as an adult.

 

person with STPD is usually a loner/ Photo By PKpix via Shutterstock

 

Social factors may also be involved in the progress of the mental disease. Some of these social risk factors include being born during summer or winter, being an older sibling, experiencing sexual or physical abuse as a child or being part of the lower class during their childhood.

It has also been found to be more prevalent in black women than other women.

If the parents were hard to talk to or also had some magical beliefs such as saying that they are able to predict what their child is currently doing or thinking, may also be another attributed cause.

Children who have tried marijuana before they reached 14 are also likely to have this medical condition. Children who have forcibly had to take on the role of the adult  are also at a high risk.

 

Treatment

There are two recommended methods of treatment for Schizotypal Personality Disorder. These are psychotherapy and medication.

 

Psychotherapy

In psychotherapy, the clinician is advised not to counter the delusional beliefs of the patient. They must offer the patient approval and be friendly towards them. They are also  suggested to train them to be able to acquire the needed social skills since they have extreme social anxiety and constantly feel out of place because of the unusual thoughts that they have.

 

Medication

Medication is not often prescribed except for when they experience some episodes of psychosis. In such cases, an antipsychotic will be prescribed by the mental health expert.

The earlier the patient seeks treatment, the higher the success rate of their recovery. Lifelong treatment is advised because it is a medical condition that is chronic. The patient must be able to get help from a therapist before it develops it into a major depressive disorder or other personality disorders.

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