What is Paranoid Personality Disorder?

Paranoid personality disorder describes someone with a pervasive distrust and suspicion of others. People with this disorder will often believe that others’ motives are malicious or malevolent.


The prevalence of paranoid personality disorder is about 2.3%-4.4%.

Signs and Symptoms

Someone with paranoid personality disorder will often suspect that others are trying to exploit them, harm them, or deceive them in some way even when there is no clear basis for these beliefs. They might be preoccupied with unjustified doubts about their friends’ or associates’ loyalty or trustworthiness. They may see hidden meanings or deceitful messages behind what others do or say, persistently bear grudges, perceive attacks on their character or reputation that are not obvious to others and can be quick to react angrily or to attack others.


Personality disorders are mainly treated with psychotherapy. Psychotherapy can be done individually or in group settings. Psychotherapy can include gaining insight into one’s way of thinking and examining how it may be interfering in one’s relationships with others. It can also involve skills training to help individuals struggling with personality disorders to socialize better with other people in social situations. Medications will depend on the kind of symptoms a person exhibits and the severity of those symptoms. Medication can include antidepressants, mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, or anti-anxiety medication.


The DSM-5 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5

The Mayo Clinic: Mayoclinic.org

Video Resource: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMWGKZMC0oE