Schizotypal Personality Disorder Causes

(Also Known As: Schizotypal Causes, Schizotypal Personality Causes, Mood Disorder Causes, Paranoid Causes, Social Anxiety Causes, Delusions Of Reference Causes)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

What causes Schizotypal Personality Disorder?

The exact cause of schizotypal personality disorder is still unknown. Genetic involvement is thought to be the primary factor of the condition due to its increased prevalence in relatives and close family members of schizophrenics. Schizotypal personality disorder patients are predisposed to project odd beliefs and behaviors, while still maintaining a firm connection with reality. Moreover, these individuals do not manifest the symptom of hallucination. For those reasons, schizotypal personality disorder should not be confused with schizophrenia. Hallucinations, delusions, and complete unawareness of reality are hallmarks of untreated or unsuccessfully treated schizophrenia. 4

Genetic Factors

The DSM-IV-TR classifies schizotypal PD under schizophrenia spectrum disorder but even so, the rates of schizotypal PD occurrences is a lot higher in individuals genetically linked to schizophrenic patients than in the relatives of people with other mental illnesses or in the relatives of community controls with no mental illness at all. For those reasons, schizotypal PD is considered an extended phenotype that helps geneticists track the familial or genetic transmission of the genes that are implicated in schizophrenia. Several studies show that individuals with schizotypal PD possess great similarities to schizophrenic patients on a very wide range of neuropsychological tests. However, although cognitive deficits in patients with schizotypal PD are very similar to the cognitive deficits symptoms seen in schizophrenic individuals, it is somewhat less severe in gravity.

Social/Environmental Factors

Both schizotypal PD and schizophrenia patients are sensitive to interpersonal criticisms and hostility. Evidence to suggest that manner of parenting, early separation and early childhood neglect can be predisposing factors to the development of schizotypal traits.

It has been speculated that because of accumulated negative or traumatic experiences, a schizotypal individual develops fear, strong objection to or total incapacity for social interaction. Eventually, these individuals develop a notion that people are harmful and a source of negativity, suffering and ostracism. This leads to the development of ideas of reference, in which the schizotypal individual believes that events or certain circumstances are of special relevance to them or that it somehow pertains to them. For example when a schizotypal individual sees two people laughing, he would immediately believe that those people are laughing at them. However, the individual may realize that their ideas of reference are irrational, yet maintains them nonetheless. This exacerbates the individual's social anxiety, causing them to skew away from society and withdraw into their own world.5

Could You Have Schizotypal Personality Disorder?

Schizotypal Personality Disorder Topics

Related Conditions

Bipolar Disorder – Manic Depression, Mood Disorder, Mania, Depression, Hypomania
Borderline Personality Disorder – Changes in Mood, Unstable Social Relationships, Distorted Self Image, Dissociation
Schizoid Personality Disorder – Disinterested with Social Function, Secretiveness, Emotional Coldness