Printer Friendly VersionEmail A FriendAdd ThisIncrease Text SizeDecrease Text Size

Paranoid personality disorder

 

Definition

Paranoid personality disorder is a psychiatric condition in which a person is very distrustful and suspicious of others.

Alternative Names

Personality disorder - paranoid

Causes

Personality disorders are long-term (chronic) patterns of behavior that cause lasting problems with work and relationships.

The cause of paranoid personality disorder is unknown. It appears to be more common in families with psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia and delusional disorder, which suggests genes may be involved.

Symptoms

People with paranoid personality disorder are highly suspicious of other people. They are usually unable to acknowledge their own negative feelings towards other people.

Other common symptoms include:

  • Concern that other people have hidden motives
  • Expectation that they will be exploited by others
  • Inability to work together with others
  • Poor self image
  • Social isolation
  • Detachment
  • Hostility
Signs and tests

Personality disorders are diagnosed based on psychological evaluation and the history and severity of the symptoms.

Support Groups

Expectations (prognosis)

Therapy can limit the impact of the paranoia on the person's daily functioning.

Calling your health care provider

If suspicions are interfering with your relationships or work, contact a health care provider or mental health professional.

Complications
  • Extreme social isolation
  • Potential for violence
Treatments

Treatment is difficult because people with this condition are often extremely suspicious of doctors. If accepted, medications and talk therapy can both be effective.

Prevention

References

Moore DP, Jefferson JW. Paranoid personality disorder. In: Moore DP, Jefferson JW, eds. Handbook of Medical Psychiatry. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2004: chap 134.

Satterfield JM, Feldman MD. Paranoid personality disorder. In: Ferri FF, ed. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2008: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. 1st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2008.


Review Date: 10/17/2008
Reviewed By: Linda Vorvick, MD, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine; Timothy A. Rogge, MD, private practice in Psychiatry, Kirkland, Washington. Also reviewed byDavid Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch).
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2009 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
MAIMONIDES
MEDICAL CENTER


Home Page
Why Choose Us
Donations
Website Terms of Use
PATIENT
INFORMATION


Visitor & Patient Info
Patient Portal
We Speak Your Language
Patient Privacy
Contact Us
KEY
INFORMATION


Find a Physician
Medical Services
Maimonides In the News
Directions & Parking
FOR HEALTH
PROFESSIONALS


Medical Education
Career Opportunities
Nurses & Physicians
Staff Intranet Access
Maimonides Medical Center    |    4802 Tenth Avenue    |    Brooklyn, NY 11219    |    718.283.6000    |