Understanding Mental Disorder
Schizotypal personality disorder (SczPD)
What is SczPD?
Whereby an individual shows a pattern of difficulty in forming close relationships and may feel anxious and paranoid in social situations. These individuals may appear as strange by others and may use unusual terminology and behave in ways that others find odd. These individuals may think that they have a special gift or that they are a special person. For example, these individuals may think that they have a sixth sense but may become anxious when others express their disagreement with this self-held belief.
While the exact cause of schizotypal personality disorder is unclear, it is thought that it is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Individuals with a first degree relative with schizophrenia are more likely to develop SczPD, while traumatic experiences such as traumatic events or chronic stress may trigger the development of symptoms.
Individuals with SczPD may benefit from a combination of therapies. Psychotherapy can be an effective treatment, for example using psycho-education techniques to improve social awareness and skills, as well as cognitive behavioural techniques to challenge cognitive distortions and identify unhelpful thinking patterns. Additionally, although SczPD cannot be treated by medication alone, anti-psychotics, anti-depressants or mood stabilizers may be prescribed in order to treat individual symptoms.