Paranoid personality disorder (PPD) causes people to be extremely suspicious of others. Sufferers of this disorder believe that other people intend to harm them, and they often lash out with inappropriate anger in response. Living with paranoid personality disorder is a unique challenge–not just for the person with the disorder, but for friends, family and co-workers who must deal with the sufferer’s constant feelings of paranoia.
When Someone Your Know Has Paranoia Disorder
Living with someone who has paranoia disorder is difficult. People with PPD have a tendency to distrust everyone–even family and friends–and will assume harmful intentions lie behind every word and action.
Stories of paranoid personality disorder indicate that in addition to treating others with extreme suspiciousness, the person with PPD may constantly argue, complain or be standoffish. Because they don’t trust anyone, PPD sufferers tend to conduct themselves in a secretive and guarded manner and not initiate or return loving feelings. If you’re involved in a romantic relationship with a person living with paranoid personality disorder, he’ll likely accuse you of being unfaithful.
People with this disorder act hostile toward others, including loved ones. At times, they may even become violent. However, if you become hostile toward them in return, it only serves to cement their belief that you intended to hurt them all along.
Living with paranoid personality disorder is stressful and draining for family members as well as the person with the disorder. If a close friend, family member or co-worder exhibits symptoms of paranoid personality disorder, you may wish to seek counseling to help deal with your own anger, pain and confusion. If the relationship becomes violent, leave and seek help for your own safety.
Stories of Paranoid Personality Disorder
People with paranoid personality disorder may engage in unusual behavior because of their belief that others are out to get them. For example, a person with PPD may:
- Accuse a partner of being unfaithful even when there is no evidence that this is the case
- Be suspicious of doctors and unwilling to take medication
- Blame other people for the negative aspects of his life
- Have a tendency to take legal action against other people
- Have trouble understanding humor and interpret jokes as threatening or an attempt to ridicule him
- Join a cult or extremist group.
Coping with Paranoia Disorder
People experiencing symptoms of PPD may be able to get help by visiting a doctor to discuss paranoid personality disorder. The paranoid symptoms could be due to side effects from medication or another illness, so a doctor will want to rule out any other causes.
However, it can be difficult for a person with paranoid personality disorder to trust and connect with a psychiatrist. Personality disorder is best treated with regular, ongoing therapy, despite the challenges involved. Successful therapy can help sufferers manage their symptoms and live a more fulfilling life.
Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders. (2010). Paranoid personality disorder. Retrieved October 14, 2010, from http://www.minddisorders.com/Ob-Ps/Paranoid-personality-disorder.html
Grohol, J.M. (2010). Paranoid personality disorder treatment. Retrieved October 14, 2010, from http://psychcentral.com/disorders/sx37t.htm
One Healthy Lifestyle (n.d.). Paranoid personality disorder. Retrieved October 14, 2010, from http://www.onehealthylifestyle.com/mental-health/mental-disorders/paranoid-personality-disorder.aspx