MSD Manual

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Quick Facts

Paranoid Personality Disorder

By

The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision Oct 2020| Content last modified Oct 2020
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Your personality is your unique way of thinking, understanding, reacting, and relating to people.

What is paranoid personality disorder?

Paranoid personality disorder is:

  • A pattern of mistrust and suspicion when there's no good reason to feel that way

People with paranoid personality disorder often:

  • See other people as hostile and dangerous and out to harm or cheat them

  • Misinterpret others' words or actions as insults when they aren't meant that way

  • Hold grudges, demand loyalty, and overreact when they think someone has betrayed them

  • Have trouble forming close relationships because they don't trust people

  • Are quick to lash out when they feel threatened

What causes paranoid personality disorder?

Doctors think paranoid personality disorder runs in families. Childhood experiences (such as being abused) may make someone more likely to get paranoid personality disorder.

How do doctors treat paranoid personality disorder?

Doctors treat paranoid personality disorder with:

  • Therapy

  • Sometimes, medicines such as antidepressants and antipsychotics

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: Click here for the Professional Version
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