People with paranoid personality disorder are very withdrawn and isolated and treat other people with great suspicion or hostility, MedlinePlus says. They feel endangered out of proportion to their actual circumstances and seize on any detail of their environment that may be evidence of this danger. They are usually unable to work with others and are detached emotionally. These symptoms can lead to severe problems managing responsibilities, such as school and work.
Paranoid personality disorder is not a full psychotic disorder, such as schizophrenia, explains MedlinePlus. Genetic factors appear to contribute to paranoid personality disorder, and a family history of the disorder is a risk factor for developing it. Environmental factors may also play a role, but the exact causes of the disorder are unknown. Men seem to be more likely to develop paranoid personality disorder than women. A doctor diagnoses paranoid personality disorder via a psychological evaluation and bases the diagnosis on both the severity and duration of the symptoms.
Both medications and talk therapy can be useful in treating the symptoms of paranoid personality disorder, but the disorder is difficult to treat due to the distrusting attitude of people who have it, MedlinePlus says. The outlook for people with the disorder largely depends on their willingness to work with professionals.