Environmental Causes of Schizotypal Personality Disorder

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The Environmental Causes of Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Schizotypal personality disorder (SPD), is considered by many as part of the schizophrenic spectrum. It is characterized by discomfort with other people, peculiar patterns of thinking and behavior, and eccentricity. These may take the form of cognitive or perceptual disturbances. Yet, unlike schizophrenia, these psychotic symptoms are not as fully developed as delusions or hallucinations but instead can be characterized as perceptual illusions. A person suffering from SPD might become extremely anxious in social situations, especially those involving strangers. Schizotypal patients also tend to be overly suspicious of others and are not prone to trust others or to relax in their presence. Another characteristic of the disorder is that schizotypes are often odd and eccentric. They often harbor absurd superstitions such as a belief in ESP and many other psychic or paranormal phenomenons that are outside the boundaries of accepted thought. In some cases Schizotypes believe that they possess magical powers, such as the ability to control other people with their thoughts. (Buss 2002) As a result of these symptoms, people diagnosed with SPD have great difficulty with social relationships, and are often alienated from mainstream society. This paper aims to investigate the suspected causes of this strange disorder, focusing on environmental and hereditary factors.

Some recent studies have found a correlation between the use of street drugs and instances of SPD. Researchers in New Zealand found that people who commonly used

cannabis were more than three times as likely to develop schizophrenia and or schizotypal disorder later in life. There have been 30 published research experiments linking cannabis to these disorders. The increase in this evidence during the past decade has been attributed to increases in the potency of marijuana. (Allebeck 1993)

Some street drugs are credited with not only...
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