Paranoid personality disorder (PPD) is difficult to diagnose because paranoid symptoms may be present for a variety of reasons. If a doctor suspects paranoid personality disorder, the patient is typically subjected to a physical exam, lab tests, a series of personality disorder tests and interviews in order to determine whether the symptoms are due to PPD or to another condition.
Paranoid Personality Disorder Test
When a person has paranoid personality disorder, he is suspicious of everyone around him. He fears that others are out to harm or humiliate him in some way, even if he has no evidence to support this fear. Paranoia disorder symptoms are chronic and exist across all situations.
Typically, when a a doctor is considering a diagnosis of paranoid personality disorder, she conducts an interview and asks the person to complete one or more personality disorder tests. The purpose of the personality disorder quizzes are to identify the person’s symptoms and to see if they match with the classic signs of paranoid personality disorder.
In order for a person to be diagnosed with paranoid personality disorder, he typcially must display at least four of the following symptoms:
- Aggression or anger because of an imagined affront
- Belief that others are disloyal and undeserving of trust
- Reluctance to share personal information due to the fear that it will be used against him
- Suspicion that other people are out to deceive, harm or manipulate him, with no evidence suggesting such a threat
- Tendency to hold grudges
- Tendency to interpret casual remarks as insulting or threatening
- Unfounded suspicions of a romantic partner’s infidelity.
While a person’s paranoid feelings may not have any basis in fact, people with this disorder are nonetheless in touch with reality. Paranoid personality disorder does not involve the delusions or hallucinations that might be seen with another paranoia disorder, such as paranoid schizophrenia.
Paranoid Personality Disorder Diagnosis
Making a correct diagnosis of paranoid personality disorder is especially tricky because paranoia symptoms could be caused by many other factors. For example, certain prescriptions medications can cause symptoms that resemble paranoia disorder, as can long-term abuse of illegal drugs like amphetamine or cocaine, or certain medical conditons or diseases.
If the paranoid behavior can be attributed to other causes, the person should not receive a diagnosis of paranoid personality disorder. For this reason, the psychologist must first rule out a number of similar mental disorders, including:
- Mood disorder with psychotic features
- Other personality disorders, such as borderline, antisocial, histrionic, avoidant or narcissistic
- Paranoid schizophrenia
- Persecutory delusional disorder
- Schizoid personality disorder
- Schizotypal personality disorder.
Paranoid personality symptoms must be chronic, usually having been present since young adulthood. Finally, the patient must be at least 18 years old.
Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders. (2010). Paranoid personality disorder. Retrieved October 13, 2010, from http://www.minddisorders.com/Ob-Ps/Paranoid-personality-disorder.html
Grohol, J.M. (2010). Paranoid personality disorder. Retrieved October 13, 2010, from http://psychcentral.com/disorders/sx37.htm