Paranoid Personality Disorder is a psychiatric diagnosis characterized by paranoia characterized by a pervasive and long-standing suspiciousness and generalized mistrust of others (DSM-IV). For a person’s personality to be considered a type of personality disorder, an enduring pattern of characteristic maladaptive behaviors, thinking and personality traits must be present from the onset of adolescence or early adulthood. Additionally, these behaviors, traits and thinking must be present to the extent that they cause significant difficulties in relationships, employment and other facets of functioning.
People suffering from paranoid personality disorder are highly suspicious of other people, resulting in their decision to severely limit their social lives.
In addition, people with the disorder often feel they are in danger and subsequently look for evidence to support their suspicions. They have trouble seeing that their distrust of others and situations is blown out of proportion.
Common symptoms of paranoid personality disorder include:
- Social isolation
- Concern that other people have hidden motives
- Expectation that they will be exploited
- Inability to work together with others