Paranoid Personality Disorder: Drugs and Treatment

Tuesday, 04 Jan 2011 09:49 AM

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Paranoid Personality Disorder is characterized by excessive suspicion and distrust of others. Paranoid personality disorder symptoms include social isolation, hostility, aggression, lack of a sense of humor, feeling of certainty without proof, and questioning hidden motives of even close friends and family members. People with paranoia are very susceptible to rejection or resentment. They usually misinterpret and distort the meaning of things, even during normal interactions.
 
Due to their continued suspicion and distrust, they do not share their thoughts with even the people closest to them. This is one of the major challenges in treating people with paranoid personality disorder symptoms. There is no known reason for this disorder. Paranoia is found to occur in people diagnosed with schizophrenia, antisocial personality disorder, mood disorder, and several other personality disorders.
 
The top drugs used to treat paranoid personality disorder symptoms are as follows:
 
1. Anti-anxiety medications: Anxiety causes the paranoid person to suspect others. Anxiety makes the paranoid person believe that the other person has some ulterior motive. This causes distrust. Anxiety also makes the patient display paranoid personality disorder symptoms like being on guard or being overly alert, and expecting someone to take undue advantage of them.
 
Some anti-anxiety medications are benzodiazepines such as Xanax®, Librium®, Klonopin®, Valium®, and Ativan®. Benzodiazepines are used for relieving short-term severe anxiety like the anxiety that is exhibited when a person diagnosed with paranoid personality disorder comes across a stranger. Other anti-anxiety medications are Azapirones, Barbiturates, Hydroxyzine, and Pregabalin. These drugs should be taken strictly under medical supervision and with a prescription.
 
2. Antipsychotic medications: These medications prevent psychosis symptoms caused by paranoid personality disorder. People exhibiting paranoia have disordered thoughts and delusions due to excessive suspicion. These delusions cause suspicion and the cycle continues. The antipsychotic medication works as a tranquilizer and reduces the psychotic behavior caused by paranoia. Some of the antipsychotic medications used in the treatment of paranoid personality disorder are the first-generation antipsychotics such as butyrophenones, phenothiazines, and thiozanthenes. The second-generation medications that are found to have lower side effects are clozapine, olanzapine, risperidone, zotepine, sertindole, amisulpride, quetiapine, and paliperidone. Aripiprazole and partial agonists of dopamine are some of the third-generation antipsychotics.
 
3. Antidepressants are the other class of medications used in the treatment of paranoid personality disorder. Excessive suspicion may lead to social isolation and depression. And in some cases, depression may cause paranoia. Antidepression medication helps improve the brain chemicals that transmit messages to the neurons. These are SSRI as discussed earlier, SNRIs (serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors), noradrenergic specific serotonergic antidepressants, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors.
 
These medications are used in paranoid personality disorder treatment only after conducting paranoid personality disorder tests that confirm the diagnosis. These paranoid personality disorder medications have several side effects like nausea, vomiting, headache, disrupted metabolism, and are not recommended for people with heart or lung diseases and kidney diseases. Further, the effects of the medication need to be monitored before changing the dosage.

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