Paranoid Personality Disorder


DSM5 Definition

Paranoid personality disorder is one of a group of conditions called "Cluster A" personality disorders, which involves odd ways of thinking. People with PPD also suffer from paranoia, and an unrelenting mistrust and suspicion of others, even when there is no reason to be suspicious.

Symptoms and Behaviors

  • People with PPD are always on guard, believing that others are constantly trying to harm, or threaten them.

  • habits of blame and distrust.

  • Doubt commitment, loyalty, or trustworthiness of others

  • unforgiving and hold grudges

  • believe they are always right

  • Have difficulty relaxing

  • hostile, stubborn, and argumentative

  • Read hidden meanings in the innocent remarks


The exact cause of PPD is unknown, but it likely involves a combination of biological and psychological factors. It’s more common in people who have close relatives with schizophrenia and suggests a genetic link between the two. Early childhood experiences, like physical or emotional trauma, also play a role in the development of PPD.

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People with PPD often do not seek treatment because they do not see themselves as having a problem. When treatment is sought, psychotherapy is the treatment of choice. Treatment focuses on increasing general coping skills, as well as on improving social interaction, communication, and self-esteem. Trust is an important factor of psychotherapy, which makes treatment challenging since people with PPD have such distrust of others.


Paranoid Personality Disorder is 2.3%-4.4% of the general population. It occurs more commonly in males.