Schizotypal Personality Disorder
The cluster A disorder, schizotypal personality disorder, is not to be confused with Schizophrenia. It is on the milder end of the spectrum but can still have extreme effects on one’s life and relationships. The disorder, which affects nearly 3% of the population, can be defined by several different behaviors and has many symptoms. Unlike schizophrenia, the people with this disorder can acknowledge their behavior but still may not want or seek treatment.
A person with schizotypal personality disorder will have trouble with interpersonal relationships and can display what is described as odd or unusual behavior. They are not comfortable in social settings or surrounded by groups of unknown people. Someone with this disorder will tend to be a loner especially if there are no immediate family members around. Due to a lack of social skills or feelings of inadequacy they may never marry nor have children because they cannot relate to others in a normal way.
Often characterized by odd thinking and beliefs, paranoid thoughts, distorted perception and a lack of close friends, there are other symptoms as well. One may be prone to delusions or hallucinations, be superstitious or believe they have ESP (extrasensory perception). Persons may dress in abnormal ways such as mismatched clothes or dirty clothes and may not even attend to their personal hygiene. Individuals with this disorder feel so disconnected and distant from the rest of society that some of these symptoms arise as way for them to have something to cling to in hopes of being able related to something or someone.
Therapy, including one on one, couple or group, and medication can be used to help someone with schizotypal personality disorder to function. Some of the therapies would require the person to interact and “bond” with the therapist in order to learn social skills such as trust. A therapist may also try to teach...
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