Paranoid Personality Disorder

A man with Paranoid Personality Disorder

Definition

Paranoid Personality Disorder is a documented mental illness characterized by ongoing and perpetual paranoia and suspicion about others and their actions. Patients of this disorder may grow to be hypersensitive towards others actions, may feel easily slighted, and may generally be excessively wary of the world and the people around them.

Individuals suffering from this disorder are often guarded and suspicious about the activities of others in general. They also turn out to be hyper-possessive about the people around them, have a tendency to hold grudges, interpret others as hostile, and have a tendency to compare themselves with others. Some other types of personality disorders are Antisocial, Schizoid, Schizotypal, Narcisisstic, Dependent, Histrionic, Borderline, etc.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Often believe that others are misusing them and deceiving them for personal gains
  • Generally doubt commitment, loyalty and trustworthiness of others
  • Do not easily confide in others because they believe that their sensitive information may be used against them
  • Unforgiving nature
  • A tendency to hold grudges
  • Closed to criticism
  • Often tend to “read between the lines” and interpret others’ remarks in a different way than the speaker would have intended
  • Perceive normal comments from others to be intended “against” them
  • Strong desire to be in control and stay cold and distant in their relationship with others
  • Always believe that they are right and unable to see their role in creating problems
  • Are stubborn
  • Hostile
  • Argumentative

Causes and Risk Factors

The exact causes of this disorder are still unclear but most scientists believe that a number of biological and environmental factors combine to predispose one to this disorder. Genetics are also known to play a pivotal role in predisposing one to this disorder.

People who have been subject to childhood trauma and have often been deprived of parents’ time and attention tend to grow suspicious and argumentative. This generally leads such people into being controlling. This further increases their suspicion about the way others treat them.

Other personality disorders like schizophrenia can lead to this disorder.

People with this disorder are exposed to these risks:

  • Decreased sociability
  • Distress
  • Excessive mental strain
  • Aggression and restlessness
  • Criminal ideation
  • Suicidal ideation

Treatment

Paranoid Personality  Disorder is a mental disorder that should be tackled at the psycho-pathological level at a rehabilitation facility. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and targeted behavioral therapy (TBT) are two of the most widely accepted treatments for treating this disorder. All psychological treatments effectively enable a patient to “control” his/or her emotional reactions to the external stimuli by making them aware of the problems associated with behaving in their “natural” way. Patients are taught to put self-checks in place in order to manage their personality better.

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