Symptoms of paranoia include irrational and intense suspicion or mistrust of others that is often accompanied by a sense of betrayal, hatred or rage, according to Mental Health America. People who suffer from paranoia may have difficulty forgiving others and develop a defensive attitude to criticism or imagined criticism.
Individuals with paranoia or a paranoia disorder may take offense easily when in conversation, have an inability to relax, fear that others are taking advantage of them or acting deceitful, or become preoccupied with perceived hidden motives, explains Mental Health America. Patients can also become self-righteous, develop characteristics of a perfectionist, and behave stubbornly or respond abruptly to others.
Paranoia occurs when emotional and mental functions that control assigning meanings and reasoning breakdown, according to Mental Health America. Symptoms may develop from experiences that provoke projected, repressed or denied feelings. People may also become paranoid due to a minor injustice, misunderstanding, or when faced with stress or increased responsibility. The thoughts experienced with paranoia often cause patients to become delusional and suspicious.
Treatment for paranoia focuses on behavior therapy to reduce abrasiveness and sensitivity while improving skills in social settings, according to Mental Health America. The process may be difficult or prolonged when individuals are hostile, guarded, or unwilling to analyze their thoughts and feelings.