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Learning about less well-known problems: Paranoid personality disorder

Posted on 05-05-15 in Mental Health

Learning about less well-known problems: Paranoid personality disorder

Everyone has moments in life where they mistrust someone, perhaps someone they know very well. Someone close to us will usually say or do something that will send up a red flag to our reasoning and judgment. However, for those with paranoid personality disorder, the equation resulting in mistrust does not add up this way. Instead, such an individual will have his or her suspicions about a number of people, even when there is no rationale to feel such a way. Because of this, people with such symptoms may encounter a number of problems in their personal, professional and social life.


Paranoid personality disorder is apparent in an individual who exhibits the following symptoms:

  • Fears that others have bad intentions toward them, preventing them from being able to have close interactions with others.
  • Anxiety about being deceived or misled.
  • Reluctance to share personal details of their life, as they worry it will  lead to consequences.
  • continued suspicion of their partner(s).
  • Severe spells of agitation which are not easily lifted.

Those with this condition may become manipulative toward others due to their worries or may believe they are always correct in a conflict. Such people are often set in their ways and are often not open to constructive criticism. They often tend to be litigious as well. Such an individual may often be more prone to violence when they feel threatened, even when such emotions have no logical cause.


The cause of this disorder is not currently known though it can be influenced by psychological or behavioral factors. Studies have shown that genetics may play a role in this condition. Likewise, those with increased instances of schizophrenia in their family may be more likely to have such symptoms. Serious trauma in childhood may also play a role. In order to be sure of their assessments, a doctor will often carry out a physical exam. While there are no laboratory tests that a medical professional may use to arrive at such conclusions, the person may be referred to a psychologist if there are no physical symptoms.

Oftentimes, a person suffering from PPD may not be diagnosed until they are an adult. This is because of the many changes one goes through in childhood and adolescence which could lead to a misdiagnosis. If the disorder is diagnosed during adolescence, then it will need to persist for at least a year or more. In these cases, there may be an especially negative domestic life, including emotional abuse or neglect. In addition, this disorder is more common in males than females. Oftentimes, the signs of paranoia may become less severe later on in a person’s life. It will also be important to make sure that paranoia is not a symptom of medication the sufferer may already be taking.


Oftentimes, those who have PDD do not bother to seek out treatment, as they often believe that they are indeed well. However, psychotherapy will often be used for those that can be persuaded to seek treatment. Sadly, trust issues may disrupt one’s ability to effectively follow through with their therapy.

More severe cases may call for medications such as antipsychotics, antidepressants or antianxiety medications. However, it should be noted that no medication has been shown  to be capable of relieving the long term symptoms associated with PPD.

In addition, there are also a number of self-help programs that a patient may make use of to better manage their symptoms. Family therapy may also prove to be an effective option in addition to assisting loved ones with PPD. Treatment may often need to be a life-long method of maintenance.

A medical professional may do his or her part to put a client at ease by being as transparent as possible with the clinical intentions. Bedside manner should not include humor for the sake of levity with those who have paranoid personality disorder as one may not be able to perceive this properly in their response. Though feelings of paranoia may persist for the individual, it is often more effectively managed with an experienced and sensitive therapist.

Sovereign Health Group has multiple mental health programs that are designed to help patients gain control of anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses. These programs include group therapy, yoga, meditation, music therapy, fitness and medication management. For further details, please contact 866-554-5504.

Written by Ryan McMaster, Sovereign Health Group Writer