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Paranoid Personality Disorder: Top 5 Symptoms

Tuesday, 04 Jan 2011 09:03 AM

Paranoid personality disorder is characterized by paranoia, suspicion, and a generalized mistrust of other people. Signs of paranoid personality disorder in patients who have this condition include overwhelming paranoia and suspicion of the entire world, searching for people who might be spying on them. The person tends to withdraw from society completely, leading a schizoid and isolated lifestyle, and shying away from any personal interactions with people.
Paranoid personality disorder affects about 0.5% to 2.5% of the general population in varying degrees, but it’s found mostly in men.
A few of the most common symptoms of paranoid personality disorder are:
  1. Patients find it very difficult to get along with other people because of their own hostility and aggressiveness. They feel that all opposing people are spying on them; so, these patients generally behave very aggressively with other people. This normally elicits aggressive behavior from the opposing person, which again reinforces the paranoia of the patient.
  2. Grandiose ideas of their own importance lead the patients to rigid and combative behavior. Fights, legal battles, and other disputes are common. These symptoms appear with differing degrees in people and patients with highly developed aggressive conditions, resulting in the formation of tightly knit groups of like-minded people. They are also called fanatics; sometimes, they band together to form cults.
  3. The severity of symptoms will differ from patient to patient.  A few patients experience a complete break from reality with psychotic episodes that may last from minutes to hours.
  4. These patients distrust medical professionals completely; it’s very difficult to get them to start treatment.
  5. They also suffer from poor self-esteem, and they prefer social isolation due to their inability to work with others in a social environment.
To be diagnosed with the disease, the patient has to show at least five of the symptoms that are listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It is necessary to get these patients to a health care provider to begin their treatment. Patients who suffer a psychotic break can be very dangerous to family, friends, and themselves. To get more information on paranoid personality disorder criteria, please check with the DSM-IV-TR or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or the American Psychiatric Association.  
Paranoid personality disorder causes
Paranoid personality disorder causes are not well known. This makes the treatment and diagnosis of the syndrome a little difficult. Patients have to be tested for underlying medical conditions; a complete physical and mental check-up is a must. Most researchers feel that there is a strong genetic background for the disease, but there is no sufficient proof to back it up.
Paranoid personality disorder tests
There are no specific paranoid personality disorder tests or imaging techniques that confirm the disease. Diagnosis is based on a detailed medical questionnaire and the interviews of the patient, family, and friends.

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