Paranoid personality disorder

Overview

Type of disease: Behavioral and mental health disorders | Rare conditions

Paranoid personality disorder (PPD) is a mental illness in which a person has a strong suspicion or mistrust of others. Individuals with this personality disorder might easily feel wronged by others, They may look for proof of their beliefs despite a lack of an actual threat. PPD typically occurs in young adults and is more common in males than females.

The cause of PPD is currently unknown. It is common for people with PPD to have a family history of PPD. Current research suggests that there might be a genetic link between this disorder and other psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. Early childhood experiences, such as trauma or maltreatment, are also believed to be causes of this disorder.

A person with PPD may experience symptoms such as difficulty relaxing, easily becoming angry or hostile, being overly sensitive to criticism, or believing that others have hidden motives and are against them. This distrust in others can lead to limited social lives and separation from others. A diagnosis of PPD can be made by your doctor. However, your doctor may refer you to a psychiatrist or psychologist for further assessment and treatment. Testing may include a physical, medical, or psychiatric exam in addition to a review of the person’s history of related symptoms.

Treatment for PPD may include a form of counseling (psychotherapy) which helps you understand and manage the disorder, learn how to communicate and trust others, and decrease the feelings of paranoia. Medications may also be used to ease the symptoms of PPD. If you or a family member experience symptoms of PPD, please talk to your psychiatrist, psychologist or therapist about the most current treatment options. Support groups are also a good source of information and can connect you with other individuals or families affected by PPD.

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