What is Paranoid Personality Disorder?
Paranoid personality disorder is a psychiatric condition characterized by suspicion, mistrust and paranoia. This eccentric personality disorder occurs in more men than women, and though an exact cause is unknown at the present time, it is commonly found in people whose close relatives suffer from schizophrenia, suggesting a possible genetic influence.
Common Symptoms of Paranoid Personality Disorder
- Suspects, without evidence that others are exploiting them
- Recurrent doubts and suspicions about fidelity of partner
- Hypersensitivity to setbacks and rebuffs
- Reads hidden meaning into benign remarks
- Continually combative and argumentative
- Preoccupied with doubts about loyalty of friends, colleagues and associates
- Reluctant to confide in others for fear that the information will be used against them
I shall now look at how some of these symptoms of paranoid personality disorder manifest themselves in the behavior of sufferers.
Suspicion Towards Everyone Around
People with paranoid personality disorder believe that others are trying to harm, demean, exploit or deceive them, even when there is no evidence of this. They fear that those who they have dealings with have hidden motives and they expect to be exploited by everyone.
This makes the PPD person hostile and they are always on guard trying to protect themselves from the ‘slyness and vindictiveness’ of others. Such suspicion can spell doom for a relationship because someone with paranoid personality disorder may doubt whether their partner is faithful, and so they become jealous and try to control them.
Reluctance to Confide in Anyone
People with paranoid personality disorder always find themselves having unjustified doubts about the commitment and loyalty of their friends, colleagues and significant others. They refuse to take anyone to trust and refrain from revealing any personal or secret information to others because of the fear that this might somehow be used against them. This makes it almost impossible for a PPD person to form close relationships.
Hypersensitivity and Perception of Attacks and Insults
One of the most common symptoms of paranoid personality disorder is the perception of hidden meanings in what people are saying. A person with PPD will even go so far as to look for hidden meanings in the casual remarks of friends and the greetings of family members. A simple “Hello, how are you doing?” can be perceived as an attempt to extract highly personal information to be used for nefarious purposes. To ‘defend’ themselves against this the PPD person will retaliate angrily.
In addition, if they are criticized and insulted they cannot let these slights go and perceive even tiniest of incidents as full throttle attacks on their character and core being.
Cold and Controlling in Relationships
People with paranoid personality disorder generally believe that they are right and that it is everyone else who is wrong. This makes them stubborn and argumentative, always trying to prove their position. In addition to this, their constant suspicion and mistrust in everyone makes them hostile. So it is not common for people with this disorder to enter into close relationships and even if they do, they show a lot of jealousy and mistrust in their partner.