Illuminating the Road to Recovery for Your Family: How Is Schizotypal Personality Disorder Treated?

Because mental health disorders such as schizotypal personality disorder can be confusing, it’s necessary to visit a professional clinician for your loved one’s diagnosis. Then, you can gain insight into treatment steps forward and the ways in which you can offer the most positive support as a family.

Do you worry about someone in your family who experiences terrible distress over perceptions that don’t reflect their reality? Perhaps you’ve noticed that trying to help them see the errors in their thinking doesn’t help much. It may even serve to upset and isolate them more.

If their beliefs and thought patterns are disordered and affecting the way they live in the world, there is hope for a future in recovery. These symptoms may be a result of various mental health disorders, including schizotypal personality disorder and schizophrenia. It is vital that your loved one visits a clinician for careful evaluation. That is the first step toward greater health and progress. Let’s break down some of the confusion around different disorienting disorders and zoom in on schizotypal personality disorder and how it is treated.

Diffusing Confusion About Schizotypal Personality Disorder Diagnosis and Symptoms

Originally from the Greek language, the root “schizo-” means “split.” The names of mental health disorders are not the only words derived from this root, but there are quite a few disorders that spring from here. And it can get confusing to try to keep these different conditions straight. The more we know about the behavioral disorders and treatment possibilities, the better are our chances of recovery and resilient well-being.

We can differentiate between the following disorders with similar-sounding names:

Psychotic Disorders

  • Schizophrenia involves psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia, as well as some cognitive impairment, social struggles, and limited emotional expression.
  • Schizoaffective disorder involves the symptoms seen in schizophrenia but also brings either depressive-type or bipolar-type mood symptoms at the same time. Whereas mood symptoms may result from the struggles of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder is marked by original mood episodes that occur during periods of psychosis as well as times independent of psychosis.

Personality Disorders

  • Schizoid personality disorder involves an extreme lack of relationships and social connections in general. They maintain this detachment and may not want for more interpersonal involvement because they also lack the ability to connect on real, emotionally involved levels. Their behaviors may seem odd or eccentric.
  • Schizotypal personality disorder also involves odd or eccentric behaviors but related to a person’s fundamentally skewed thinking. They may have few close relationships but not for lack of interest; rather, they struggle to relate to others and to be understood.

If your loved one has schizotypal personality disorder, there is hope for treatment and improved quality of life with time. If they do not yet have a professional diagnosis, that is the important first step. Different disorders are treated with different methods so clinicians must be aware of exactly what is causing your loved one’s symptoms.

The sooner they can get professional attention and treatment, the better, because symptoms can worsen, co-occurring disorders can complicate their suffering, and they may be at risk of developing schizophrenia. There are similarities in treatment for schizoptypal personality disorder and schizophrenia, just as there are some similarities in the symptoms, but it is absolutely necessary to have accurate and up-to-date diagnoses for the best possible plan for recovery.

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How Is Schizotypal Personality Disorder Treated?

One of the most challenging barriers to treatment and recovery for schizotypal personality disorder is that people likely do not believe that there is a problem. After all, they see the world through a certain distorted lens, and they have no clear reason to believe that their thoughts and behaviors are unhealthy. On top of this resistance, people with schizotypal personality disorder may also have great difficulty trusting others, including therapists and other clinicians who want to help them regain control of their lives.

Considering these challenges, a residential treatment environment is probably the most productive option to establish lasting strategies and routines for recovery. Both medication and therapy are effective for treating schizotypal personality disorder. While there are no unique medications for personality disorders, certain drugs can help to treat specific symptoms, such as antipsychotics, anti-anxiety medications, or antidepressants. Meanwhile, therapy is the route to addressing your loved one’s disordered thoughts and perceptions.

Even when someone with schizotypal personality disorder is initially resistant to treatment, with a therapist’s help, they can develop an awareness of their negative or inaccurate thoughts. And they can gradually learn to reshape these thoughts. They can practice positive social skills in the context of a welcoming residential treatment community. And they can learn to better manage paranoid reactions and practice trust as their thinking becomes more clear.

Because it is so important for someone with a personality disorder to accept and engage with treatment, your family can play a very helpful role in supporting their recovery. If you’re still unsure about the best next steps and the best ways you can help, that’s okay. By reaching out to a treatment center, you can gain insight into how you can offer positive support, as well as the proven treatment options available for your loved one. Living with schizotypal personality disorder is a long road, but it doesn’t have to be uphill forever. Find out how you can help them to gain healthy momentum into the future.

BrightQuest offers long-term, residential treatment for people struggling with complex mental health illnesses and co-occurring disorders. Contact us to learn more about our renowned program and how we can help you or your loved one start the journey toward recovery.