Those with paranoid personality disorder possess an unjustified distrust and suspicions of others. They fear that others are exploiting or deceiving them. Innocent statements may be interpreted as a threat or attack on their character. People with Paranoid Personality Disorder display a need to be self-sufficient and can often bear grudges for long periods of time.
Paranoid personality disorder usually presents itself by early adulthood and affects approximately 1% of the general population. However, those with the disorder rarely present themselves for treatment due to their lack of trust in others.
In order for Paranoid Personality Disorder to be diagnosed, the client will display at least four of the following:
- Unjustified suspicion that others are exploiting, deceiving or harming them
- Preoccupation with unjustified doubts regarding the trustworthiness or loyalty of friends or associates
- Reluctance to confide in others due to unwarranted fears that information will be used maliciously against them
- Reads hidden demeaning or threatening meanings into innocent events or comments
- Persistent bearing of grudges
- Perceives personal attacks on their own character or reputation, which is not perceived by others; they are quick to counterattack or respond angrily
- Unjustified suspicions, without justification, about the fidelity of spouse or sexual partner