Dual Diagnosis & the Schizotypal Personality Disorder
by Keith Vaughn
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.