Paranoid Personality Disorder


  • Paranoid personality disorder is a long-term mental health problem. When you think that other people want to hurt or take advantage of you, these are paranoid thoughts. With paranoid personality disorder, you have these thoughts often, and they cause problems in your daily life. You are at a greater risk of having paranoid personality disorder if one or more people in your family have a personality disorder. With paranoid personality disorder, you have trouble trusting other people. You think that other people are trying to harm, trick, insult, and take advantage of you. You may also hold grudges against people, and think that your spouse or partner is unfaithful.

  • These thoughts make it hard for you to have close relationships with other people. Treatment may include medicines and counseling (talk therapy). Treatment for paranoid personality disorder may decrease your anxiety (worries). Getting treatment may also help you have better relationships with other people.


Take your medicine as directed.

Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

  • Antianxiety medicine: This medicine may be given to decrease anxiety and help you feel calm and relaxed.

  • Antidepressant: This medicine helps keep you from feeling deeply sad.

  • Mood stabilizer: This medicine helps control your impulsive mood swings.

Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:

For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.

How paranoid personality disorder affects other people:

  • It may be hard for you to have close relationships with people. It may be hard to accept feedback from other people. You may think that you are always right. You may feel angry or tense when you are around other people. You may argue with, or withdraw from other people. You may not accept that you have made a mistake, and you may blame other people for your mistakes.

  • People may see you as being angry, unfriendly, jealous or very sensitive. This can make it hard for you to get along with others at your job. It can make friendships and family relationships hard to keep. You may end up hurting yourself or others, or you may make others want to hurt you. Being treated for paranoid personality disorder may improve relationships with your friends and loved ones. With paranoid personality disorder, it is common to have other mental problems, such as depression, anxiety, or drug abuse. Ask you caregiver for more information about these problems.

Therapies used to treat paranoid personality disorder:

It may be hard for you to believe that you have a problem. It also may be hard for you to trust a caregiver to help you. Your treatment may include:

  • Behavioral therapy: Your caregiver may help your spouse or partner understand your behavior. He may help your partner change to decrease your jealousy. Your caregiver may teach you and your partner ways to avoid arguments.

  • Counseling: Your caregiver may ask how are you are feeling. He may ask you to explain your fears and beliefs. Your caregiver may ask you to tell him who you are angry with, and why you are angry with that person. He may talk to you about other ways to think about things that have happened to you. Your caregiver may help you cope with stress at work and at home. He may teach you ways to get along better with your spouse, friends and other people.

  • Psychoanalysis: Your caregiver may want to learn how your personality problem began. He may ask you to tell him about your past and your childhood. By learning about your past, your caregiver may help you understand your actions. By understanding your behavior, you may be able to decrease paranoid thoughts.

  • Psychotherapy: Your caregiver may teach you ways to cope with your symptoms. He may help you change your behavior, so that you can work and get along with other people better.

Where can I find more information about paranoid personality disorder?

  • American Psychiatric Association
    1000 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1825
    Arlington , VA 22209
    Phone: 1- 703 - 907-7300
    Phone: 1- 888 - 357-7924
    Web Address:
  • National Mental Health Association
    2001 N. Beauregard Street
    Alexandria , VA 22311
    Phone: 1- 703 - 684-7722
    Web Address:


  • You feel depressed (very sad).

  • You feel very anxious or worried.


  • You feel that you may harm yourself or other people.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Paranoid Personality Disorder (Discharge Care)