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Dual Diagnosis & the Schizotypal Personality Disorder

by Keith Vaughn
  • Overview

    According to the National Institutes of Health, depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, and personality disorders, such as schizotypal personality disorder, tend to occur with a drug abuse problem.
  • Definition

    Dual diagnosis refers to the condition of having both a mental disorder and a drug abuse problem. Schizotypal personality disorder, which exists as part of the schizophrenic spectrum, is a condition characterized by withdrawal from other people and social settings.
  • Features

    According to the National Mental Health Association (NMHA), a mental disorder usually occurs before a drug abuse problem, with drug abuse as an attempt to self-medicate. However, drug abuse may occur first and contribute to the development of a mental disorder.
  • Symptoms

    Schizotypal personality disorder may include such symptoms as eccentric beliefs and behavior, perceptual distortions, social anxiety that does not diminish with familiarity, paranoia, odd speech patterns, and a lack of close friends and social contacts.
  • Cause

    According to MayoClinic.com, the cause of schizotypal personality disorder is unknown, though genetics, environment and a history of abuse or neglect may be contributing factors.
  • Treatment

    According to the NMHA, those with dual diagnosis should treat their drug abuse and their schizotypal personality disorder simultaneously by first detoxifying from drugs and then engaging in a drug rehabilitation program and seeking treatment for the schizotypal personality disorder. Treatment for schizotypal personality disorder may include antipsychotic or antidepressant medications and some form of psychotherapy.

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