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How do you recognize paranoid personality disorder?

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Quick Answer

According to PsychCentral, paranoid personality disorder is a set of maladaptive personality traits that cause a person to feel pervasive mistrust and suspiciousness of others. There are many symptoms of paranoid personality disorder; however, diagnoses are only made by licensed mental health practitioners.

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Full Answer

World Health Organization states that common symptoms include excessive sensitivity to setbacks and rebuffs, bearing grudges, suspiciousness, misinterpretation of others' actions as hostile, a combative and tenacious sense of personal rights out of keeping with the actual situation, recurrent unjustified suspicion about a partner's sexual fidelity, a tendency to experience excessive self-importance and a preoccupation with unsubstantiated conspiratorial explanations of events.

In addition to these symptoms, a personality disorder diagnosis requires a patient to meet general personality disorder diagnostic criteria. Symptoms of paranoid personality disorder sometimes appear in other mental disorders, such as schizophrenia and delusional disorder. The primary difference is that paranoid personality disorder is a fundamental part of the patient's personality and not a psychotic disorder or a disorder with psychotic features, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, psychotic depression or delusional disorder. Wikipedia explains that due to the mistrusting nature of patients who suffer from a paranoid personality disorder, treatment is often difficult. Treatment options exist providing the patient is willing to cooperate with mental health practitioners. Psychotherapy, antidepressants, antipsychotics and anti-anxiety medications are sometimes effective in treating paranoid personality constructs.

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