Paranoid personality disorder is also known as Paranoid personality. This personality type is characterized by unfounded suspicions about everyone’s loyalty. The patient believes that the people around him are always mean to him, deliberately demeaning and deceiving him.
What is paranoid personality disorder?
Paranoid Personality Disorder (PPD) is classified as an eccentric, bizarre personality disorder (also known as group A personality disorder). This term refers to an abnormal personality type characterized by unfounded suspicions about everyone. People with personality disorder believe that people around them are always malicious towards themselves and imply threats in their words/actions even though this is not the case.
Similar to other personality disorders, people with paranoid personality disorder are unaware of abnormalities in their own behavior and thoughts (perceptions). According to statistics, about 2.3-4.4% of the US population suffers from this disease and the rate is higher in men.
The risk of paranoid personality disorder is significantly increased in people who experienced emotional, physical, and abusive childhood abuse. People with this disease can still maintain professional and academic functions. However, the thought that people are always malicious and want to harm themselves makes the patient’s emotions and behavior strongly influenced.
Paranoid personality disorder is easily confused with paranoia. However, people with this disease do not experience delusions such as jealousy, delusions of pride, delusions of association, etc., but simply unfounded, persistent doubts about the people around them. have bad intentions, want to deceive or harm themselves.
Manifestations of paranoid personality disorder
Paranoid personality disorder usually appears in late adolescence or early adulthood. Patients themselves do not notice abnormalities in their thoughts and behaviors. Therefore, disease detection depends on the attention and understanding of those around.
The characteristics of the paranoid personality type are distrust of everyone, believing that those around them have bad intentions, wanting to threaten, demean and harm themselves. These thoughts are formed baselessly without any good reason.
Signs of paranoid personality disorder:
- Always have the belief that you are being taken advantage of, deceived, threatened or demeaned by those around you
- Doubts about loyalty and almost distrust of everyone (including spouses and close friends)
- Believing that you will be attacked at any time without any good reason to form this thought
- Reticent in disclosing information and expressing their own thoughts and feelings for fear that others will use this information against them.
- Hatred, tolerant, and unforgiving and unforgiving
- Always see the deep meaning in other people’s words, but in reality, these words have absolutely no threatening or malicious thoughts.
- Sensitive to criticism. Patients often resent those who criticize themselves and are sometimes aggressive and violent because they think they are trying to lower their honor.
- Persistent doubts about your partner being unfaithful. This suspicion causes the patient to become overly jealous and controlling
- Be wary of everyone and always observe those around you with an inquisitive look
- Always have negative thoughts about others
- Psychological stress, irritability and anger because of doubting everything
- Perseverance, argumentative, rigid and self-righteous
- Because of the fear that people will understand them, most people with paranoid personalities show very limited emotions. The patient rarely shows joy or pain, but the most common emotions are coldness, aloofness, lack of empathy, and indifference.
- Has no sense of humor and hardly reacts cheerfully to other people’s jokes
- Losing the ability to self-criticize, always think of yourself as right
- Patients may sue frequently because they believe they have been humiliated, humiliated, or harmed
The symptoms of paranoid personality disorder are quite similar to those of paranoia, psychosis, and schizophrenia. However, people with a paranoid personality only have unfounded suspicions about people. The patient is completely free of delusions of grandeur, delusions of association, delusions of being loved, delusions of invention, etc.
Causes of paranoid personality disorder
As with other abnormal personalities, the cause of paranoid personality disorder remains unknown. However, the hypotheses put forward all support this disease is the result of a combination of genetics and environmental factors.
Factors related to the pathogenesis of paranoid personality disorder:
- Past trauma: Most people with the paranoid personality type lack familial love from an early age, experience abuse and violence. Because of not being raised in a healthy environment, these children grow up to form unfounded suspicions about everything.
- Genetics: Experts have found that paranoid personality often develops in people with a family history of paranoid personality disorder, schizophrenia, and other mental disorders.
- Other factors: In addition to genetics and negative past experiences, the risk of paranoid personality disorder is significantly increased when factors such as divorce, separation, fatherhood, and growing up in the family are included. poor circumstances. In addition, psychiatrists also found that Native Americans and blacks have a higher risk of developing this personality type than other races.
Is paranoid personality disorder dangerous?
Paranoid personality disorder does not impair psychosocial functioning like other mental disorders. However, unfounded suspicions about everyone’s loyalty cause patients to have many problems in relationships. In addition, being overly sensitive to criticism exposes the patient to constant fights and sometimes legal involvement.
People who develop the Paranoid personality type find it difficult to maintain long-term relationships due to their irrational self-doubt. People with this personality type often divorce after a period of time together and rarely have close friends.
In addition, skepticism and sensitivity also make it difficult for patients to develop their careers. Because most jobs require teamwork and maintaining close relationships with people.
People with paranoid personality disorder themselves are always suspicious of everything, so they have almost no ability to relax, always tense and alert. This greatly affects mental health and can increase problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, etc. In severe cases, paranoid personality can develop into psychosis and paranoid disorder. .
Without treatment, people with paranoid personality disorder themselves will have a hard time maintaining their quality of life. On the contrary, timely examination and treatment helps to reduce mistrust of people, eliminate enmity, and learn to be forgiving and tolerant. According to experts, paranoid personality disorder has a diverse prognosis, but most of them have a more favorable prognosis than the other two personality types of group A, schizoid personality disorder and personality disorder. schizophrenic manner.
Diagnosing paranoid personality disorder
Paranoid personality disorder is recognized as an official mental disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Therefore, the doctor will rely on the DSM-5 criteria to make a diagnosis. Because the symptoms of paranoid personality are quite similar to those of other mental disorders, the diagnostic process can take a long time.
Diagnosis of paranoid personality is mainly based on clinical manifestations. However, because the patient does not notice his own abnormality, the support of those around him is needed. Everyone’s contribution will help the doctor to objectively view the patient’s persistent and unreasonable doubts.
To rule out some possible possibilities, the doctor may order laboratory tests such as blood tests, CT, cranial MRI, etc. Psychological tests are also performed to evaluate the client. mental health of the patient.
In fact, about 75% of people with paranoid personality disorder have another form of personality disorder such as antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, or avoidant personality disorder. Therefore, the diagnosis will be made simultaneously to detect the abnormal personality that the patient has.
Treatments for paranoid personality disorder
Paranoid personality disorder profoundly interferes with career-relationships. Therefore, after a period of onset, people around easily recognize the abnormality of the patient. After making a diagnosis, your doctor will consider appropriate treatments.
Treatment options considered for patients with paranoid personality disorder:
Psychotherapy is the mainstay of treatment for paranoid personality disorder. However, it is more difficult to treat someone with this disorder than with other personality disorders. The reason is because patients are always suspicious of people, assuming they have bad intentions or intentionally demeaning themselves. Therefore, it takes the specialist a long time to build trust with the patient. Only then, the new patient accepts the treatment and persists during the treatment.
Psychotherapy focuses on building trust with people, learning to empathize, share, and love. In addition, this therapy also helps patients improve self-esteem and improve communication and social interaction.
Psychotherapy for patients with paranoid personality disorder often takes a long time due to the patient’s doubts and even questions about the therapist’s motives. Therefore, the family needs support to make the treatment process go smoothly and bring the best results.
Psychotherapy used in the treatment of paranoid personality disorder:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavioral therapy
- Relaxation techniques
2. Drug use
Pharmacotherapy is not the mainstay of treatment for paranoid personality disorder. However, medication can be used to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression in some patients. In addition, the use of drugs also helps to lift the spirit during therapy and avoid the patient’s agitation and aggression.
Medications used in the treatment of paranoid personality disorder:
- Antipsychotic drugs
- Sedatives, anxiolytics
Using medication helps to improve some of the symptoms of paranoid personality disorder. However, medication is only considered supportive therapy. Therefore, patients still have to undergo psychotherapy to remove unfounded suspicions, build trust and empathy with those around them.
3. Support measures
Personality disorder is a chronic and lifelong mental illness. Therefore, patients with paranoid personality disorder need supportive measures to successfully manage and control the disease. These practices are very helpful in reducing stress, building trust, and instilling love and forgiveness.
Supportive measures for patients with paranoid personality disorder:
- Equip relaxation techniques to relieve stress and anxiety caused by skepticism. These measures also help patients sleep well, reduce muscle tension, headaches, …
- Families need to create a healthy living environment, free of conflict and suspicion, and should express love and empathy for the patient’s convenience. A favorable living environment helps patients reduce doubts and build trust with those around them.
- Encourage patients to participate in meaningful activities such as volunteering, environmental protection, non-profit projects, etc. to arouse compassion and altruism.
- Help patients stay away from bad habits such as smoking, using alcohol and drugs. These unhealthy habits can make stress and doubt levels worse. In addition, alcohol and substance abuse is also a condition for the development of other mental disorders.
Paranoid personality disorder is a mental disorder, not just a personality trait as many people think. Because patients do not recognize their own abnormalities, detection depends on family, friends and colleagues. With timely health care, patients can improve their lives and remove difficulties in relationships – careers.