Paranoid personality disorder

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Paranoid personality disorder

Definition

Paranoid personality disorder is a psychiatric condition characterized by extreme distrust and suspicion of others.

Alternative Names

Personality disorder - paranoid

Causes

Personality disorders are chronic patterns of behavior that cause lasting problems with work and relationships. The cause of paranoid personality disorder is unknown, but it appears to be more common in families with psychotic disorders like schizophrenia and delusional disorder, which suggests a genetic influence.

Symptoms

People with paranoid personality disorder are highly suspicious of other people. They are usually unable to acknowledge their own negative feelings towards other people.

Other common symptoms include:

  • Concern that other people have hidden motives
  • Expectation to be exploited by others
  • Inability to collaborate
  • Poor self image
  • Social isolation
  • Detachment
  • Hostility

Exams and Tests

Personality disorders are diagnosed based on psychological evaluation and the history and severity of the symptoms.

Treatment

Treatment is difficult because people with this condition are often extremely suspicious of doctors. If accepted, medications and talk therapy can both be effective.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Therapy can limit the impact of the paranoia on the person's daily functioning.

Possible Complications

  • Extreme social isolation
  • Potential for violence

When to Contact a Medical Professional

If suspicions are interfering with relationships or work, a health care provider or mental health professional should be consulted.

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