Paranoia Personality Disorder

By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor


What is paranoia personality disorder?

Paranoid personality disorder is a type of eccentric personality disorder in which a person has a long-term unrelenting mistrust and suspicion of others. Other hallmarks of this condition include the reluctance to confide in others, bearing grudges, and reading “demeaning” or “threatening” meanings in even the most innocent of comments or events. A person with PPD can be quick to feel anger and feel hostile toward others.

Paranoia can become delusions when irrational thoughts and beliefs become so fixed that nothing (including contrary evidence) can convince a person that what they think or feel is not true. When a person has paranoia or delusions, but no other symptoms (like hearing or seeing things that aren’t there), they might have what is called a delusional disorder. Because only thoughts are impacted, a person with delusional disorder can usually work and function in everyday life; however, their lives may be limited and isolated.

How common is paranoia personality disorder?

Paranoia personality disorder is extremely common. It commonly affects more males than females. It can affect patients at any age. It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.


What are the symptoms of paranoia personality disorder?

The common symptoms of paranoia personality disorder are:

  • Concern that other people have hidden motives.
  • Expectation that they will be exploited (used) by others.
  • Doubt the commitment, loyalty or trustworthiness of others, believing others are using or deceiving them.
  • Are reluctant to confide in others or reveal personal information due to a fear that the information will be used against them.
  • Are unforgiving and hold grudges.
  • Are hypersensitive and take criticism poorly.
  • Inability to work together with others.
  • Read hidden meanings in the innocent remarks or casual looks of others.
  • Perceive attacks on their character that are not apparent to others; they generally react with anger and are quick to retaliate.
  • Have recurrent suspicions, without reason, that their spouses or lovers are being unfaithful.
  • Social isolated.
  • Generally cold and distant in their relationships with others, and might become controlling and jealous.
  • Detached.
  • Hostile, stubborn, and argumentative.

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

See a health care provider or mental health professional if suspicions are interfering with your relationships or work.


What causes paranoia personality disorder?

The exact cause of PPD is still not fully understood. However, it is highly likely involves a combination of biological and psychological factors. PPD is more common in people with relatives with schizophrenia. Early childhood experiences, including physical or emotional trauma, are also suspected to play a role.

Risk factors

What increases my risk for paranoia personality disorder?

There are many risk factors for paranoia personality disorder, such as:

  • Gender: male stands a higher risk.
  • Family mental health history: PPD is more common in people with relatives with schizophrenia.
  • Environmental factor: physical and emotional trauma in early childhood experiences.

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is paranoia personality disorder diagnosed?

Paranoid personality disorder is diagnosed based on the physical and psychological evaluation. The doctor will begin an evaluation by performing a complete medical and psychiatric history and, if indicated, a physical exam will be made. Although there are no laboratory tests to specifically diagnose personality disorders, the doctor might use various diagnostic tests to rule out physical illness as the cause of the symptoms. If no physical reasons are found, the health care provider will refer the patient to the psychologist to assess the personality disorder, consider how long and how severe the person’s symptoms are.

The mental health professional will perform a comprehensive assessment. They may ask about your childhood, school, work, and relationships. They may also ask you how you would respond to an imagined situation. This is to gauge how you react to certain situations. For example, they may ask what you would do if you found somebody’s wallet on the sidewalk. The mental health professional will then make a diagnosis and form a treatment plan.

How is paranoia personality disorder treated?

Treatment is difficult because people with this condition are often very suspicious of doctors. If treatment is accepted, talk therapy and medicines can often be effective.

  • Psychotherapy (a form of counseling) is the treatment of choice for PPD. Treatment likely will focus on increasing general coping skills, as well as on improving social interaction, communication, and self-esteem.
  • Medication generally is not a major focus of treatment for PPD. However, medications, such as anti-anxiety, anti-depressant or anti-psychotic drugs, might be prescribed if the person’s symptoms are extreme, or if he or she also suffers from an associated psychological problem, such as anxiety or depression.

Individuals who accept treatment can hold down a job and maintain healthy relationships. However, they must continue treatment throughout their lifetime because there’s no cure for PPD. Symptoms of PPD will continue but can be managed with care and support.

People with PPD who resist treatment may lead less functional lives. PPD may interfere with their ability to hold down a job or have positive social interactions.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage paranoia personality disorder?

There are still no any self-help tips that can help patient manage this disorder, this is because a person with paranoia personality is likely to be mistrustful and suspicious of others and their motivations, making group help and dynamics unlikely and possibly harmful.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: October 13, 2016 | Last Modified: September 12, 2019