Schizotypal Personality Disorder in teens or young adults is a mental illness characterized by paranoia, intentional distance from others, and delusions. It does have some similar characteristics to schizophrenia and schizoid personality disorder, but is usually less severe and easier to treat.
At Paradigm, we specialize in treating mental health disorders in teens and young adults – if you are, or are dealing with a teen or young adult struggling with mental health, please contact us today.
- People with teen schizotypal personality disorder are often suspicious of others and possess a level of paranoia that leads them to avoid close relationships.
- They also tend to ramble when they speak, struggle with abnormal thinking patterns and attitudes, and dress eccentrically.
- It’s common for people with schizotypal personality disorder to believe in the supernatural or be overtly superstitious. They may also give more meaning to seemingly meaningless things.
- The level of paranoia that teens and older people with schizotypal personality disorder experience are so extreme that it leads them to maintain very few relationships, usually only with close family. Rather than socialize or engage with others, they tend to distance themselves and spend a lot of time daydreaming.
Types of Teen Schizotypal Personality Disorder
Insipid schizotypal personality disorder
Characterized by major depressive disorder and dependent features and a passive overall attitude. Insipid schizotypal personality disorder is often exhibited with apathy, nonbeing, and sluggishness. Insipid schizotypal teens are often entirely indifferent. If they do lash out, then it is usually in a form of an existential crisis.
Timorous schizotypal personality disorder
Characterized by avoidant, passive-aggressive features and more of an active approach to life overall. A timorous schizotypal personality disorder is often exhibited through an exaggeration of the minute.
What might seem insignificant or unimportant becomes a detail with hidden, obscure, or esoteric meaning, and they cling to supernatural explanations for random coincidences.
They are prone to believing in superstitions and may turn towards fantasies and rituals to protect themselves. They are still apathetic towards others and distance themselves from social interaction.
Causes of Schizotypal Personality Disorder
Like other personality disorders, the causes are varied and depend on individual experiences and certain risk factors.
Teens with a family history of schizotypal personality disorders or schizophrenia spectrum disorders are more likely to develop these symptoms.
Personalities are formed through childhood experiences, and if certain beliefs or behaviors persist all throughout puberty, they may continue to persist in early adulthood. A teen with a schizotypal personality may have developed it to cope with something in their childhood.
Traumatic events and Environmental factors
Trauma is more likely to do emotional and psychological damage than any other emotional pain. Traumatic events are classified as traumatic based on how an individual responds, rather than the severity of the event. Some people are traumatized by an event while others cope healthily. Trauma may be identified by hazy or incomplete details, a lack of memory or temporary amnesia, or an unwillingness to bring up the past.
How Can I Help with Teen Schizotypal Personality Disorder?
Approach your teen non-judgmentally and understand that their behavior is rooted in a disordered way of thinking, rather than any usual personality flaw. Being more open and accepting can also help your teen trust you more, even if you don’t completely understand why they think the way they do.
Communicate with your teen
Having someone to confide in is important for anyone, but it is much more important for people who struggle to identify with others and distance themselves from social interaction on purpose – similar to the actions of someone with a social anxiety disorder. Learn how to communicate clearly with your teen to avoid mistrust.
Learn more about the disorder
There is a lot of literature from mental health professionals detailing the different personality disorders and how they are different from one another. A better understanding of what makes your teen tick can help you support them moving forward and allows you to continue to help them identify what type of thinking is appropriate and what type of thinking is inappropriate, long after therapy.
What Types of Teen Schizotypal Personality Disorder Treatment Are Available?
The primary forms of treatment for people with schizotypal personality disorder and other mental disorders are therapy and medication. Where therapy with a mental health professional is the key to helping a teen understand how their behavior might be harmful, medication exists in cases where severe symptoms become unmanageable through therapy and require a greater level of intervention.
Short-term medication through antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs can help teens cope with severe negative thinking and persistent fears. Antipsychotic drugs may also be used as mood stabilizers. There is no medication available to directly treat the symptoms of people with schizotypal personality disorder, but other medication when properly prescribed can aid therapy.
Talk therapy or psychotherapy involves helping a teen identify what makes their behavior dangerous to them or others and find ways to cope with the causes of their behavior in a healthier manner.
One-on-one therapy with a mental health professional often involves the use of cognitive-behavioral therapy or dialectical behavioral therapy to help teens break down and understand their thinking and address it accordingly.
Group therapy or family therapy helps teens better explore their mental health conditions around others and can also help their family members better understand what they’re going through.
Teen Schizotypal Personality Disorder Treatment at Paradigm Malibu
The best treatment available for people with schizotypal personality disorder is a holistic treatment that aims to address all the different aspects of a teen’s symptoms, and most often, involves both talk therapy as well as medication. Teens who struggle with personality disorders often have a wide breadth of symptoms that need addressing, and treatment must adequately respond to them all.
Because of the aspect of paranoia associated with schizotypal personality disorder, it’s extremely important that a teen trusts his/her therapist, and the establishment of such trust may take time. At Paradigm Malibu, we work hard to foster such bonds of trust and help teens feel comfortable in their new environment.
Once they feel safe, the therapist can help them to acknowledge any negative or false beliefs, recognize irrational or erroneous thinking, evaluate behavioral patterns that are associated with those beliefs, and implement healthier behavior.
Therapists also teach teens how to cope with stress and conflict in a healthier way, to empower the teen not to resort to old habits.
Beyond all of this, during teen schizotypal personality disorder treatment, a therapist can help develop healthier attitudes toward others, which can provide a foundation from which a patient can begin forming and maintaining new relationships. This also helps abate the stress and social anxiety produced by feelings of paranoia.
Frequently Asked Questions About Teen Schizotypal Personality Disorder
What’s the difference between schizotypal personality disorder and schizophrenia?
People with schizotypal personality disorder are on the same “spectrum” as schizophrenia, meaning it shares certain characteristics and symptoms. However, a schizotypal personality disorder is a milder illness with milder psychotic symptoms, and is somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, whereas schizophrenia is much more severe.
Are people with schizotypal personality disorder dangerous?
No more so than others. Schizotypal personality disorder does not make teens more prone to violence, but it does make them prone to distancing themselves from others.
People with mental health conditions involving schizophrenia and schizotypal personality disorder may feel threatened by others and will put up walls to avoid social contact, from behaving apathetically or inappropriately to simply being extremely eccentric in both beliefs and behavior. They may believe themselves to be clairvoyant or telepathic but will not seek out fights or become violent more than other teens would.
Find Help for Teen Schizotypal Personality Disorder Today
Personality disorders like schizotypal personality disorder don’t have to be an overbearing detriment to you and your teen’s life. At Paradigm, we specialize in treating any mental health condition your teen may be experiencing. Schizotypal personality disorder can be difficult to face alone. Please reach out to us today for help.