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Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Monday, 03 Jan 2011 05:14 PM

Schizotypal personality disorder is a serious psychiatric condition that causes a person to have difficulty with interpersonal relationships. People suffering from such disorder tend to appear emotionally distant and have trouble connecting with others. They are usually introverts that experience extreme social anxiety and are unable to bear their social isolation due to their paranoid fears; they may develop distorted perceptions about interpersonal relationships, be unable to understand social cues, and hold peculiar beliefs.

People with this disorder usually exhibit odd thought patterns, eccentric behavior, and appearance. They may also have brief periods of psychotic episodes. Their thought processes are characterized by magical thinking, illusions, and suspicions. While talking, they go on a tangent, and relentlessly babble about trivia. This disorder typically sets in early adulthood and may persist throughout life.

Top Symptoms:

1. Incorrect Interpretation of events:
The frame of reference gets thoroughly scrambled in people with schizotypal personality disorder. Misreading of social cues is common with them. For instance, they interpret a nonverbal cue such as a frown or smile or something being broadcast on TV as being related to them, even though in reality, it may not be so. They may feel people are laughing or frowning at them.

2. Odd beliefs and Magical thinking:
In order to find emotional connection with the world, they may be preoccupied with the paranormal, clairvoyance, telepathy, a sixth sense, and bizarre beliefs.

3. Perceptual alterations:
People with this disorder may feel bodily illusions and phantom pains. They may attribute the cause of a particular event in their life to some mysterious force or person.

4. Bizarre thinking and speaking:
They may go off on tangents, dwell on trivia, and be vague and incoherent in their speech. Their thoughts may jump from one thing to another without any association, confusing listeners, yet the way they talk and think may make sense to them.

5. Suspicious and Paranoid thoughts:
When an individual is talking with their friend, a person with schizotypal personality disorder may think that the discussion is about

6. Emotionally flat:
Schizotypal personality disorder sufferers stew in their own brew. Frightened of being rejected and isolated, they appear aloof from others and from life. They suppress and repress their thoughts.

7. Lack of close friends:
Except for immediate family, they may lack close friends to confide in and find solace with. Due to their social anxiety and suspicions, they will not have meaningful interpersonal relationships.

8.Eccentric behavior:
In their manner of dressing and mannerisms, they exhibit eccentric and odd choices. Their appearance may not be pleasing to others; their clothes may be dirty, loose fitting, or plain weird. Their behavior seems bizarre.

9.Social anxiety:
Due to their poor self-image, they tend to feel that they don’t fit in social situations. Although they can interact with others, they try to sneak away from social situations.

In general, personality disorders are difficult to treat. But there is increasing evidence that both medications and therapeutic talk can help. There is no cure for this disorder; long-term psychotherapy and counseling can help. Antipsychotic medications and antidepressants are often prescribed to alleviate depression and anxiety.

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