Personality and Personal Growth: Schizotypal Personality Disorder
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Personality types are very interesting to explore because there are so many variables to learn about. Having a general understanding of them and their variables also makes it easier to create a personal development plan. Some of the variables to know about are personality disorders with one that you do not often hear about being schizotypal personality disorder.
Those with this disorder are often seen as eccentric or odd. In most cases, they do not have any close relationships because they do not understand how their behavior affects other people and they do not understand what has to happen to form a relationship. They might see other people's behaviors and motivations and something harmful to them, developing significant distrust.
The issues that arise with this disorder can lead to significant anxiety problems and in social situations, they often turn inward. This condition is not curable, but as people get older, the symptoms might improve. In most cases, this condition is diagnosed during someone's early adulthood years. However, some symptoms might start being evident when someone is in their early teen years.
Exploring the Symptoms of this Personality Disorder
It is important to note that schizotypal personality disorder and schizophrenia are two completely different mental health conditions. The symptoms associated with schizotypal personality disorder include:
Being a severe loner
Eccentric, unusual or peculiar behavior or beliefs
Believing in telepathy and other special powers
Excessive and persistent social anxiety
Paranoid or suspicious ideas, constantly doubting fidelity and loyalty and hypersensitivity
Incorrectly interpreting events
Dressing in strange ways
Perceptual alterations, such as phantom pains
Odd speech style, such as rambling when trying to have a conversation or vague speaking patterns
Flat emotions and inappropriately responding emotionally
Knowing the Causes of this Disorder
The cause of this condition remains unknown, but experts do have some ideas about what might predispose someone to developing this condition. When you go throughout childhood, you gradually learn how to respond appropriately to social cues. However, when someone has this condition, something happens that causes issues with the process, leading to problems like unusual thinking, illogical beliefs or paranoid feelings. Experts think that genetics and issues affecting how the brain functions also contribute.
There are risk factors that experts have identified to possibly cause this condition and these risk factors include:
Having a family member that has this disorder
Having a history of trauma, family dysfunction, abuse or neglect during childhood
How this Personality Disorder is Diagnosed
Your doctor will start by making sure that a physical cause is not responsible for your symptoms. If there is not one, you will see a mental healthcare provider to see if you meet the criteria in the DSM-5. You will go through a number of psychological tests to determine if you meet the criteria necessary to be diagnosed with this condition. Your mental healthcare provider must see that you have a minimum of five of the following to receive a diagnosis:
Incorrectly interpreting events
Paranoid or suspicious thoughts
Eccentric, odd or peculiar behaviors
Excessive social anxiety
Magical thinking or odd beliefs
Odd speech patterns and thinking
Lack of close friends
The Treatments Used for this Disorder
Treating this condition requires a combination of treatments that serve to reduce the condition as a whole, as well as the individual symptoms. Medications and psychotherapy are the two most commonly used treatments.
While there is not a single medication that works specifically for this condition, there are antidepressant, antipsychotic and anti-anxiety drugs that can be beneficial. These work for the anxiety and depression symptoms that might occur. They can also help to stabilize your mood. Psychotherapy is a type of therapy that works when you talk to your mental healthcare provider. You will learn more about your symptoms and how they are impacting your overall health. Once you understand the impact you can develop the right coping mechanisms to reduce their severity.
You now have a better understanding of how this disorder affects a person's personality type. Creating a personal development plan can help you to create goals to help you to cope with your symptoms. Work with your doctor when you are crafting your personal development goals and make sure that they are addressing your personality type needs. This will help to control your symptoms while also aiding you in your overall personal development since your symptoms can hinder your ability to have things like relationships and a solid career.