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    Schizotypal personality disorder

    Schizotypal personality disorder is a mental health condition in which a person has trouble with relationships and disturbances in thought patterns, appearance, and behavior.

    Causes

    Causeof schizotypal personality disorder isunknown. Genes are thought to be involved because this condition is more common in relatives of schizophrenics.

    Symptoms

    Schizotypal personality disorder should not be confused with schizophrenia. People with schizotypal personality disorder can have odd beliefs and behaviors. But unlike people with schizophrenia, they are not disconnected from reality and usually do not hallucinate. They also do not have delusions.

    People with schizotypal personality disorder may be very disturbed. For example, they may also have unusual preoccupations and fears, such as fear of being monitored by government agencies.

    More commonly, people withthis disorder behave oddly and have unusual beliefs (such as aliens). They cling to these beliefs so strongly that they have difficulty forming and keeping close relationships.

    People with this disorder may also have depression. A second personality disorder, such as paranoid personality disorder, is also common.

    Common signs of schizotypal personality disorder include:

    • Discomfort in social situations
    • Inappropriate displays of feelings
    • No close friends
    • Odd behavior or appearance
    • Odd beliefs, fantasies, or preoccupations
    • Odd speech

    Exams and Tests

    Schizotypal personality disorder is diagnosed based on a psychological evaluationthat assessesthe history and severity of the symptoms.

    Treatment

    Talk therapy is an important part of treatment. Social skills training can help some people cope with social situations. Medicines may also be a helpful addition.

    Outlook (Prognosis)

    Schizotypal personality disorder is usually a long-term (chronic) illness. Outcome of treatment varies based on the severity of the disorder.

    Possible Complications

    • Poor social skills
    • Lack of interpersonal relationships

    When to Contact a Medical Professional

    See your health care provider or a mental health professional if you or someone you know has symptoms of schizotypal personality disorder.

    Prevention

    There is no known prevention. Awareness of risk, such as a family history of schizophrenia, may allow early diagnosis.

    References

    Blais MA, Smallwood P, Groves JE, Rivas-Vazquez RA. Personality and personality disorders. In: Stern TA, Rosenbaum JF, Fava M, Biederman J, Rauch SL, eds. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. 1st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2008:chap 39.

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              Review Date: 11/17/2012

              Reviewed By: Timothy Rogge, MD, Medical Director, Family Medical Psychiatry Center, Kirkland, WA. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

              The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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