Paranoid Personality Disorder

The word personality describes deeply ingrained patterns of behavior and the manner in which individuals perceive, relate to, and think about themselves and their world. Personality traits are conspicuous features of personality and are not necessarily pathological, although certain styles of personality traits may cause interpersonal problems. Personality disorders are enduring patterns of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of an individual's culture. They must be rigid, inflexible, and maladaptive and of sufficient severity to cause significant impairment in functioning or internal distress.

Paranoid Personality Disorder is an unwarranted tendency to interpret the actions of other people as deliberately threatening or demeaning. The disorder, surfacing by early adulthood, is manifested by an omnipresent sense of distrust and unjustified suspicion that yields persistent misinterpretation of others' intentions as being malicious. People with a paranoid personality disorder are usually unable to acknowledge their own negative feelings toward others but do not generally lose touch with reality. They will not confide in people, even if they prove trustworthy, for fear of being exploited or betrayed. They will often misinterpret harmless comments and behavior from others and may build up and harbor unfounded resentment for an unreasonable length of time.

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Paranoid Personality Disorder. Last reviewed 06/06/2010

Sources:

  • American Psychiatric Association
  • National Institutes of Health - National Library of Medicine
  • Psychnet, United Kingdom