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Schizotypal personality disorder

Video transcript

- [Voiceover] Schizotypal Personality Disorder, or sometimes shortened to S-T-P-D, is when someone has difficulty forming and keeping relationships with others, and they also have these beliefs that might appear strange or peculiar, and might even seem to resemble some features of Schizophrenia. These people will often have unusual ideas or theories about things, making them seem odd or eccentric to others, and making it even harder to make connections with others. But, a very important distinction to make from patients with Schizophrenia and delusions, is that they're willing to consider facts that might be contradictory to these beliefs and challenge these unusual views. An example of an unusual view might be something that's unusually superstitious, or maybe they believe in some sort of magical thinking, like a sixth sense, or telepathy. Socially, though, they'll often prefer to be alone and get really uncomfortable and anxious in social situations. And, these feelings don't really improve over time, or with age or familiarity. So, clearly, here, there seem to be some similarities with Schizophrenia, right? Especially in thinking and beliefs. But, we have to be careful, because STPD is definitely very different from Schizophrenia. So, let's say that someone has this superstitious belief with this rabbit's foot, and that they have to have it with them whenever they take a test, or else they won't do well. If this person also had STPD, they might reconsider whether they need it or not after taking the test and doing really well without it. If this person had Schizophrenia, their belief in this is set, regardless of what happens, and they won't consider changing their beliefs, even if they did really well, or better than usual. So, with that said, these thoughts and peculiar beliefs aren't typically full-fledged delusions with STPD. And, these patients don't have hallucinations, either. If they did, they'd likely be considered for a diagnosis of Schizophrenia, instead. And, in general, STPD does not progress to Schizophrenia. Just like Schizophrenia, though, there aren't any specific tests that'll tell us whether someone has STPD or not. And, it usually takes a trained mental health professional, like a psychologist or psychiatrist, to make a proper diagnosis. And, when making a diagnosis, they'll look for symptoms, like being very uncomfortable in social situations, and they'll also look for odd fantasies or beliefs and behavior that don't really fit with cultural norms. Another symptom that they might look for would be something like having very little close friends other than your first degree relatives. And with that said, in almost all cases, it's usually these relatives that notice the disorder and encourage them to see someone about it, rather than the person instigating treatment, themselves. If they do instigate treatment, though, it's likely because they're seeking help for some other symptoms, like depression or anxiety. And, the cause of STPD, like many personality disorders, is still very much a mystery. But, one clue to scientists is that it seems to be more common among first degree relatives of patients with STPD, which is also the case for Schizophrenia, right? And, this adds to a list of similarities between the two disorders, and even suggests some genetic similarities. But, how they overlap, and really, how they both develop, is, overall, still very unclear. As to treatment of STPD, there are no drugs that are specifically made and prescribed to patients with this disorder, although, they might be prescribed medications if something like a psychotic episode is experienced, or if they have some sort of underlying mood disorder, like depression. Usually, instead of medication, the treatment of choice for STPD is long-term psychotherapy with a therapist that has experience with STPD. And, these can often target things like improving their social skills and social behaviors and ways of thinking. Psychotherapy can definitely be an effective tool that helps improve their quality of life and can seriously reduce symptoms of STPD.