Paranoid personality disorder (PPD) is classed as one of a group of personality disorder types that are characterized by peculiar and irregular thinking. Individuals afflicted with PPD suffer from a persistent baseless sense of suspicion and mistrust of other people. The condition's onset typically occurs by the time the patient reaches young adulthood. The disorder is believed to be more common among males than females.
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What is Paranoid Personality Disorder?
Paranoid personality disorder (PPD) is an adverse mental health condition in which a person experiences persistent suspicion of and distrust of other people. PPD is not a disorder of the same degree as schizophrenia and other comparatively extreme psychotic conditions. But, PPD can be severe enough to significantly impair the individual’s ability to function normally in interpersonal relationships at work and at home.
Paranoid Personality Disorder Symptoms
People struggling with PPD believe others are focused on trying to degrade, abuse, threaten, or harm them. The symptoms of paranoid personality disorder may include:
- Believing that other people are lying to them.
- Believing that people around them are using them.
- Not believing others are trustworthy or loyal.
- Imagining character attacks against them, becoming angry, and seeking revenge.
- Extreme sensitivity and not taking criticism well.
- Feeling ill at ease and unable to relax.
- Not forgiving any slights, holding grudges indefinitely.
- Withholding sharing personal information in fear people will use it against them.
- Being hostile and confrontational.
- Not believing their own behavior is the cause of any conflicts.
- Suspecting, without grounds, that their mates are being unfaithful.
- Acting distant, jealous, and controlling.
What are the Paranoid Personality Disorder Causes?
PPD is typically attributable to combined biological and psychological conditions. The disorder is most often diagnosed in patients with close relatives who suffer from schizophrenia, indicating a likely genetic connection between these two mental health disorders. Contributors to PPD may also be traced to experiences during early childhood, such as emotional or physical trauma.
Paranoid Personality Disorder Test and Diagnosis
If needed, the individual’s family doctor may conduct a complete physical exam, including testing to detect possible physical causes of the PPD symptoms. If the medical doctor cannot determine a physical cause of the symptoms, he/she may refer the person to a psychiatrist or psychologist for assessment to identify a personality disorder.
Options for Paranoid Personality Disorder Treatment
The usual treatment for PPD is psychotherapy, emphasizing developing coping skills, interpersonal skills, and stronger self-esteem. Because PPD patients, by definition, have trust issues, they often do not cooperate with the treatment. In cases of extreme symptoms or co-occurring disorders like depression or anxiety, treatment may include antidepressants, antipsychotic, or anti-anxiety medications.
Can People With Paranoid Personality Disorder Get Better?
The behaviors and thought processes of people with paranoid personality disorder tend to impact their ability to function well socially and maintain interpersonal relationships. Their ability to stay employed long-term can also be negatively impacted. Individuals with PPD may be more likely to engage in legal battles. PPD is a chronic condition that is likely to persist throughout the patient’s lifetime.
Especially for patients with this condition who reject PPD treatment, the prognosis is frequently not very promising, and they may be unable to operate successfully in normal day-to-day life. However, some people can be helped to function well enough to live a normal routine daily life at work and home despite their PPD.
How to Deal with Paranoid Personality Disorder
Taking the first step to getting help can be very difficult for a person with a paranoid personality disorder. Pathways’ caring mental health professionals are here to help you through the admissions process. We will work with you to develop a treatment program that can help you become a happier and more well-adjusted person with more successful relationships.