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Paranoid Personality Disorder


What is paranoid personality disorder?

Paranoid personality disorder (PPD) is a long-term, mental health condition. PPD causes you to be suspicious, distrusting, and hostile toward others. This is because you think they want to hurt you or take advantage of you. You may have trouble trusting or getting along with others. These thoughts and behaviors can cause problems with your relationships and daily activities.

What causes PPD?

The cause may not be known. Your risk for PPD is increased if you have a family history of the disorder. You are also at risk if you were abused or neglected as a child.

What are the symptoms of PPD?

  • You think other people will harm, trick, or take advantage of you
  • You think that your friends might not be loyal. You may think about how they have let you down. You may search for proof that they cannot be trusted.
  • You are nervous about talking to other people because you are afraid they will use the information against you.
  • You often hold grudges against people who you believe have done something bad to you. You believe that the actions were done to hurt you, and you cannot forgive the people who did them. You may see people as your enemies, and want to get back at them.
  • You think that others are trying to insult you. You may hear a person say one thing, but you think that they mean something else.
  • You suspect that your partner has been unfaithful.
  • You think that certain people are trying to make you look bad to others. You may react by getting angry or attacking them back. You may also believe that your reputation is being threatened.

What other behaviors might I have with PPD?

  • Depression
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Agoraphobia
  • Alcohol or substance abuse

How is PPD diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask about your history and if you want to hurt yourself or others. He will ask about your behaviors, feelings, and relationships with others.

How is PPD treated?

Medicines can help decrease anxiety or depression and make you feel more stable.

How can I manage my symptoms?

Go to individual or group therapy. You may need any of the following types of therapy:

  • Supportive psychotherapy helps you understand your behaviors and actions. This can help you cope with your disorder so you can have positive relationships.
  • Family therapy helps you and your family communicate and teaches your family how they can best support you.

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

  • You are depressed.
  • You feel anxious or worried.
  • You do not want to leave your house.
  • You begin to drink alcohol, or you drink more than usual.
  • You take illegal drugs.
  • You take medicines that are not prescribed to you.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

When should I seek immediate care or call 911?

  • You have severe depression.
  • You want to hurt yourself or others.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. 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.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Paranoid Personality Disorder

Symptoms and treatments