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Schizotypal Personality Disorder and Addiction

People with schizotypal personality disorder (STPD) are often loners. They often struggle to connect with others is due to their own doings. Still, they think that it is the fault of everyone around them. As a result of this lack of self-awareness in those with STPD, it is often hard to convince them to receive help

To make matters worse, people with schizotypal personality disorder often contain multiple other comorbid co-occurring psychological disorders. For example, many people with this disorder also suffer from anxiety and depression. Many of the comorbid co-occurring disorders that people with STPD often also suffer from cause people to abuse substances. This is because doing so helps them cope with life. Therefore, it’s no surprise that those with STPD also often struggle with substance abuse and addiction

To understand more about STPD and addiction and how to treat such a complex condition, you must first get a better understanding of this disorder. To help you do that, we’re going to go over the causes and symptoms of schizotypal personality disorder in this article. We’ll also make the distinction between this and other personality disorders with similar names and conditions, like schizophrenia. For you or anyone in your life that happens to suffer from STPD and addiction, we hope that this information gets you one step closer to receiving the co-occurring disorder treatment that you need. 

What is Schizotypal Personality Disorder?

schizotypal personality disorder

Schizotypal personality disorder is a type of personality disorder. Like with all personality disorders, people who suffer from STPD struggle functioning in everyday life. People with this personality disorder also struggle to build relationships with other people. This is due to their superstitious thoughts and behaviors and poor social skills. In fact, the thoughts and behaviors of people with STPD often go against cultural norms. People who suffer from STPD also often distort reality. Schizotypal personality disorder is quite rare though. This is evident in the fact that only approximately 0.6%- 4% of people contain this type of personality disorder. Of the people that suffer from STPD, there are more men than women

According to the American Psychological Association, there are 10 cluster groups of personality disorders. Schizotypal personality disorder is in the Cluster A group of personality disorders. All personality disorders within a cluster group of personality disorders contain certain symptoms. 

These symptoms include long patterns of eccentricities and distortions of perception, ideas of reference that determine that every person is taking actions that are directed towards the individuals with the Cluster A personality disorder, unconventional beliefs in things that go against cultural norms, such as magic, and a high level of social anxiety that causes those with Cluster A personality disorder to not have close relationships outside of the family

Symptoms of Schizotypal Personality Disorder

All people with Cluster A personality disorders contain the same basic symptoms. Still, there are certain symptoms that are specific to just STPD. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders by the American Psychological Association, there are 9 symptoms of schizotypal personality disorder. To receive a diagnosis of STPD, you must contain 5 of the 9 symptoms. 

The 9 symptoms of schizotypal personality disorder are:

  • Ideas of reference, excluding delusions of reference
  • Excessive social anxiety that doesn’t go down with familiarity. The social anxiety exhibited in those with STPD is associated with paranoid fears rather than a negative judgment of self.
  • Odd beliefs or magical thinking that influences behavior and is inconsistent with cultural or subcultural norms
  • Unusual perceptions, such as bodily illusions
  • Odd, eccentric, or peculiar behavior or appearance
  • No close friends outside of immediate family members
  • Odd thinking and speech due to being excessively vague, circumstantial, metaphorical, overelaborate, or stereotyped. 
  • Inappropriate or constricted affect
  • Suspiciousness or paranoid ideation

What Causes Schizotypal Personality Disorder?

The exact cause of schizotypal personality disorder is unknown. People that have relatives that suffer from STPD or are on the schizophrenia spectrum have a greater chance of getting STPD though. Other factors that contribute to one developing STPD include a person’s experiences and relationships early on in life. Drug use can also spark STPD symptoms in those that already have a genetic predisposition to the disorder. 

STPD vs. Schizophrenia

Both schizotypal personality disorder and schizophrenia cause people to distort reality. But the ways in which this symptom occurs differs between these two disorders. People with schizophrenia distort reality by hallucinating and thus seeing and hearing things that aren’t really there. Individuals with STPD, on the other hand, distort reality by seeing and hearing the things that are actually occurring. They then view those things in a way that is magical in nature and completely different than what is really going on. 

Schizotypal Personality Disorder and Addiction

Like with most mental health and personality disorders, people with STPD abuse substances more often than those without it. In fact, research shows that two-thirds of individuals with STPD also suffer from a substance use disorder. 

Most people with STPD also suffer from other psychological disorders. Some of the most common psychological disorders that people with STPD also suffer from include anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. 

All of the mental illnesses that are associated with schizotypal personality disorder cause people to abuse substances to cope. Therefore, individuals who have STPD also tend to abuse substances. The substances that people with STPD tend to abuse the most are alcohol and tobacco. Because those who suffer from STPDspend a lot of time by themselves, they tend to abuse substances while alone.

Schizotypal Personality Disorder Treatment

Most people with STPD initially seek treatment for the other mental illnesses that are associated with this disorder. This is because schizotypal personality disorder is so rare and often unknown by regular people. For example, many people who suffer from STPD initially seek out treatment for anxiety, depression, or even bipolar disorder. 

To help people with STPD manage their symptoms, they should receive different forms of psychotherapy. Some of the most popular forms of psychotherapy used to treat schizotypal personality disorder include cognitive behavioral therapy, supportive therapy, supportive-expressive therapy, and family therapy. 

Through cognitive behavioral therapy, those with schizotypal personality disorder can see how others see their behavior. That way, they can alter them in a way that will help them improve their anxiety and social skills. Supportive therapy can teach people with STPD how to handle negative thoughts and emotions. This is done while also improving their ability to build relationships. 

Supportive-expressive therapy will also help those with STPD build relationships by helping them remove any negative biases that they may have. Supportive-expressive therapy can also help individuals learn how to open up to others. 

Family therapy can help end enabling behaviors in the people who already have a close relationship with the person with STPD. It helps the immediate family members by holding them accountable and showing them how to hold their loved ones accountable. Family therapy can also help establish a support group for the treatment of a person’s schizotypal personality disorder. The decision to take medication during STPD treatment depends on the severity of the disorder and any other co-occurring psychological disorders.

STPD and Addiction Treatment

To treat a co-occurring disorder made out of STPD and addiction, individuals must attend co-occurring disorder treatment at a rehab center. Through co-occurring disorder treatment, individuals can simultaneously treat schizotypal personality disorder addiction. Thankfully, with the help of an addiction treatment program and therapy, individuals can find hope, help, and peace!

Prior to attending co-occurring disorder treatment though, you will likely need to attend detox. That way you can get clean and remove all of the substances from your body. During your detox, you might need to take medication to help you manage your withdrawal symptoms.

Attending Treatment at Free By the Sea Can Help You Change Your Life

At Free by the Sea, we provide co-occurring disorder treatment for all types of mental health disorders and addiction combinations. Therefore, you can receive treatment for your schizotypal personality disorder and addiction here. Whether you’re looking to attend inpatient or outpatient treatment, we are here to help you through this journey to recovery. 

At Free by the Sea, you get to attend treatment in an environment that is perfect for helping you get away from life’s distractions and improve your life. That’s because our treatment center is located on a beautiful and serene 5-acre secluded waterfront property in Washington state. If you attend treatment at Free by the Sea, you’ll also get the opportunity to use our top-notch facility amenities. These include a gym, a volleyball court, a basketball court, and more. To learn more about Free by the Sea, and the treatment services that we provide, contact us today and allow us to walk with you!

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