Home Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy Paranoid Personality Disorder Is a Challenging Mental Health Condition

Paranoid Personality Disorder Is a Challenging Mental Health Condition

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Paranoid personality disorder comes under the umbrella of eccentric personality disorders. People having this personality disorder are suspicious of others and appear peculiar or odd. They believe that others are trying to threaten or harm them. That is why they mistrust each one, whether they are their family members or colleagues. Their habits of blame and mistrust interfere with their ability to develop close relationships. Paranoid personality disorder begins in childhood or early adolescence. It is more common in men than women.


People with paranoid personality disorder:

  • Are hesitant to reveal personal information because they have a fear that their information will be misused
  • Doubt the loyalty, commitment or trustworthiness of others as they believe others are deceiving or using them
  • Hold grudges and are unforgiving
  • Read hidden meanings in innocent remarks and casual looks of other people
  • Take criticism poorly and are hypersensitive.
  • Perceive that others are attacking their character, although they are not apparent to others. They react with anger and are fast to retaliate.
  • Are distant and cold in their relationships and might become jealous and controlling
  • Have suspicions that their loved ones are unfaithful even without any reason
  • They cannot see themselves in conflicts and problems and consider themselves right always
  • Are stubborn, hostile, and argumentative
  • Have difficulty relaxing


The cause of paranoid personality disorder is not known. However, according to researchers, a combination of environmental and biological factors may lead to it.

  • It is primarily present in families who have a history of delusional disorder and schizophrenia. 
  • Early childhood trauma can be a cause of it.
  • Native Americans, African Americans, and Hispanic Americans are more likely to have this order.
  • Stress and trauma can be a cause too.

Other causes include:

  • Being separated or divorced
  • Living in a low-income household
  • Never marrying
  • Being widowed

Famous people with paranoid personality disorder

Some of the Paranoid personality disorder Examples include:

  • Joseph Stalin. He is an important figure of World War II. He has all the characteristics of a paranoid personality disorder. He did not trust anyone, not even his closest allies. Moreover, nobody could oppose his suggestions and ideas.
  • Saddam Hussein. Hussein was the president of Iraq. He is a prime example of paranoid personality disorder. He felt like others are trying to exploit him. He mistrusted all his family members, companions and everyone around him. His reputation was so important to him.
  • Richard Nixon. He is one of the best leaders of the US. Due to his characteristics and behaviour, psychologists considered him a prime example of paranoid personality disorder. He did not listen to the other side of things. He felt that people are out to get him.

Loving someone with paranoid personality disorder

Loving someone with a Paranoid personality disorder is not an easy job to do. Paranoid persons always believe that others harm them, which interferes with their ability to trust others and stay loyal to them. They get angry quickly and hold grudges against others. They want to remain alone and find it difficult to develop any close relationships. It is a challenging task to stay in the company of this type of personality disorder.

How to deal with a paranoid mother?

Just encourage her to follow a proper treatment plan. Speak simple sentences and try to speak clearly as exact words help minimize the chances of being misinterpreted. Be accepting may also help you deal with a paranoid mother. Avoid confronting her about her beliefs or attempt to help her reality-test

How to work with someone with paranoid personality disorder?

  • Use simple directions if required. Tell them that no one is going harm them and that you can help.
  • If the person is interested in listening to you, ask them questions about their fear and not argue.
  • Give them enough personal space so that they do not feel surrounded or trapped. Stay with them but at a distance that they are comfortable with you.
  • Tell them everything you are planning to do before, even if you will take out your cell phone.
  • Focus them on what is real.

Paranoid personality disorder test

There is no such laboratory test to check paranoid personality disorder. If its symptoms are present in any individual, the doctors perform several diagnostic tests to check the cause behind it. If the doctors do not find any physicals reason for those symptoms, they refer you to psychologists or psychiatrists who then treat you through assessment tools and specially designed interviews.


Paranoid personality disorder can be treated, but most people with this disorder have trouble accepting the treatment. Talking therapies or psychotherapies are helpful for those willing to take the treatment. These treatments will:

  • Help you learn how to communicate in social situations
  • Help you learn how to deal with this disorder
  • Help you reduce feelings of paranoia

Medications can also be given to those who have anxiety or depression as well. They include:

  • Benzodiazepines
  • Antidepressants
  • Mood stabilisers

Final thoughts

No doubt, Paranoid personality disorder is one of the most common personality disorders. Are you, too, facing this personality disorder? Do you want to learn how to manage its symptoms? So what are you waiting for? Book an appointment with a top psychiatrist and develop successful relationships with others by treating this disorder.

Helen Bradfield did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She is interested in mental health and well-being.

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