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How Willy Wonka Portrays Schizotypal Personality Disorder

1672 words - 7 pages

Schizotypal Personality Disorder
Betsy Schroeder
Mercy College of Health Sciences

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is a well-known book about an eccentric candy maker living in his own mystical world that has been made into two popular movies. Wonka is a character that is two things at once; unflappable and socially anxious, overly friendly but also untrustworthy and isolated, altruistic and sadistic, hopeful and cynical, grandiose and fragile (Pincus, 2006). While Willy Wonka may be a fictional character, he does display the very real disorder Schizotypal Personality Disorder or SPD. Schizotypal Personality Disorder is a personality disorder that affects approximately 3.9% of the American population and is similar to Schizophrenia but without delusions or hallucinations (Pulay et al., 2009). While little is known about the causes of Schizotypal Personality Disorder, it is becoming a significant personality disorder that warrants an understanding of what is currently known about the disorder and treatments available to individuals living with SPD.
Every person that has different characteristics that influence how they think, act, and build relationships. While some people are introverted, others are extroverted. Some people are strict and do not take risks, while others are carefree and free spirited. However, there are times where a person’s behavior becomes destructive, problematic, and maladaptive (Widger, 2003). The key to examining a person for a possible personality disorder is not if they have quirks, but if they display severe behavioral, emotional, and social issues. A diagnosis of having a personality disorders involves identifying if their extreme behaviors, emotions, and thoughts that are different than cultural expectations interfere with the person’s ability to form and maintain relationships and function outside of the home (Blais, 2012). As personality disorders can cover a wide range of behaviors, the DSM-IV further divides personality disorders into three clusters. Cluster A are odd or eccentric disorders, Cluster B are dramatic, emotional, or erratic disorders, and Cluster C are anxious or fearful disorders (American Psychological Association, 1996).
Schizotypal Personality Disorder falls under Cluster A based on the eccentric behaviors and mannerisms individual’s display and tends to develop during adolescence. The DSM IV defines a person with Schizotypal Personality Disorder as having social and interpersonal deficits characterized by a lack of close relationships, magical thinking, behavior that does not follow social norms, suspicion and paranoia, an odd, peculiar, or eccentric behavior, and social anxiety (American Psychological Association [APA], 2000). In short, a person who has Schizotypal Personality Disorder displays extreme isolation, odd behaviors, peculiar ways of dressing, has relationship issues, has issues properly communication, and also suffers from depression and anxiety. Due...

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