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Paranoid Personality Disorder

(Also Known As: Delusions, Paranoid, Paranoid Disorder, Paranoia, Borderline Personality Disorder)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Clinical Therapist)

What is Paranoid Personality Disorder?

Paranoid Personality Disorder is a condition characterized by a long term, widespread, and unwarranted suspicion of other people, which can be hostile, demeaning, and threatening. The name Paranoid Personality Disorder is derived from the word “madness”. It is one of ten personality disorders identified in The DSM-IV-TR. 1

Although Paranoid Personality Disorder is characterized by a pervasive suspicion of other people, individuals suffering from Paranoid Personality Disorder do not suffer delusions, except during stressful conditions. Most of the time, individuals undergoing Paranoid Personality Disorder are aware of reality. While they are not psychotic, their belief that other people are after them or are trying to embarrass them makes them hostile and detached from society.

People suffering from Paranoid Personality Disorder demonstrate distrust for other people. The main characteristic of people with Paranoid Personality Disorder is a high level of mistrust and suspicion when communicating with other people. Even though others are trying to be friendly to them, an individual with Paranoid Personality Disorder interprets it as being manipulative or malevolent. While Paranoid Personality Disorder has its onset during childhood or early adulthood, any distrust and suspicion has the tendency to take control over their lives. People who are suffering from Paranoid Personality Disorder usually have difficulty forming close relationships with others.

An individual suffering from Paranoid Personality Disorder has the belief that other people or even their friends are out to hurt or take advantage of them, even if there is no proof for such beliefs. Because they lack trust in other people, patients suffering from Paranoid Personality Disorder have few close friends and are not great “team players”.

Dealing with individuals with Paranoid Personality Disorder can be challenging. They constantly search for proof that others are out to harm them. They are often seen as withdrawn or aloof. Individuals suffering from Paranoid Personality Disorder are known for being violent.

Could You Have Paranoid Personality Disorder?

Paranoid Personality Disorder Topics

Related Conditions

Anxiety Disorder NOS – Excessive Worry, Fear, Phobias, Chronic Anxiousness
Avoidant Personality Disorder – Pervasive Social Inhibition, Feeling of Inadequacy, Fear of Being Criticized or Rejected
Borderline Personality Disorder – Variable Mood, Unstable Relationship
Schizoid Personality Disorder – Lack of Interest in Social Relationships, Prefers Solitude, Emotional Coldness, Indifference
Schizotypal Personality Disorder – Need for Social Isolation, Odd Beliefs, Paranoid Ideation