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Paranoid Personality Disorder

Symptoms and Treatments

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What is Paranoid Personality Disorder?

Paranoid personality disorder is a chronic and pervasive condition characterized by disruptive patterns of thought, behavior, and functioning. This disorder is thought to affect between one to two-percent of U.S. adults. Symptoms may often resemble schizophrenia and some research indicates that there may be a genetic link between the two disorders. Individuals with paranoid personality disorder are at a greater risk for experiencing depression, substance abuse, and agoraphobia.

Symptoms of Paranoid Personality Disorder

Individuals with paranoid personality disorder typically experience:
  • Chronic and pervasive distrust and suspicion of others.
  • Feelings that they are being lied to, deceived, or exploited by other people.
  • May believe that friends, family, and romantic partners are untrustworthy and unfaithful.
  • Outburst of anger in response to perceived deception.
  • Often described as cold, jealous, secretive, and serious.
  • Look for hidden meanings in gestures and conversations.

Treatments for Paranoid Personality Disorder

Paranoid personality disorder is generally treated with psychotherapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is often effective in helping individuals adjust distorted thought patterns and maladaptive behaviors. Other therapy approaches includes group therapy and psychodynamic therapy.

In some cases, medication is used in combination with psychotherapy. Commonly prescribed drugs included antidepressants, anti-psychotics, and anti-anxiety medications. Medications alone are not a recommended treatment for personality disorders and are best used in combination with psychotherapy.

Further Reading:
Overview of Personality Disorders

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