Psychiatric ailments or mental illnesses can prove to be very crippling conditions, affecting the patient’s life and as well of those around them. One such distressing psychiatric condition is paranoid personality disorder (PPD) which if not treated, could develop into a chronic condition, usually occurring in people with antisocial personality disorder, mood disorder and schizophrenia to name a few.
What is Paranoid Personality Disorder
People suffering from this sickness, have an unrelenting suspicion on people around them, exhibiting extreme distrust, sensitivity and suspicion for no rhyme or reason, and constantly suspect planning and plotting is being done against them. They place trust in only themselves, and are forever trying to interpret hidden meanings and intentions in words and actions of others. They always maintain a distance from others, appear cold and do not indulge in emotional bonding with anybody; they are always ready to place the blame on others for anything that goes wrong and will hold grudges against those who have wronged them.
The symptoms of this disorder, usually appear in early adulthood. They have a peculiar thought process, are hypersensitive and have strange fantasies, accruing to poor interpersonal relationships.
The exact cause is unknown; some experts, genetically link PPD and schizophrenia, while some believe it to be a consequence of physical or emotional trauma experienced during childhood. Aloofness, poor family relationships and peer pressure also contributes its development.
People suffering from this malady, staunchly believe that people around them are trying to harm or threaten them in some way or the other, thus, their mistrust and unfounded beliefs hamper and interfere with their personal relationships as well.
Other symptoms include:
- Negative feelings towards others
- Inability to work in a team
- Detachment from emotions
- Hostile behavior
- Always seeking hidden meanings in casual remarks or looks of others
- Constantly being under the notion of righteousness
- Denial of faultiness
- In a relationship, control, distance and jealousy form their main attributes
- Stubborn and argumentative nature
- Cannot confide in others or place trust in them
- Cannot take criticism lightly and are not forgiving
As people with PPD do not trust anybody, they believe that nothing is wrong with them and thus. avoid seeking help. Most of these people enroll for treatment after being forced by family members or in case of a court order.
It usually includes use of medications and psychotherapy. Psychotherapy or talk therapy focuses on coping up skills, group discussions, family discussions, communication skills, building self-esteem and improving social interactions. The medications include antianxiety, antidepressants and anti-psychotic drugs, namely; benzodiazepines, azapirones, barbiturates, etc., administered only when the patient is forever on high alert, or suffers from anxiety due to their mistrust in people.
Anti-psychotic medications are used when signs of paranoia, delusions and psychotic behavior are exhibited and include butyrophenones, phenothiazines, thioxanthenes, etc. When the patient feels socially isolated or is depressed due to the excessive suspicion about people, he/she is administered antidepressants, that include serotonin, norepinephrine, reuptake inhibitors, etc.
This is usually a chronic disorder that will remain with the person for life. Most patients who follow their treatment plan, often respond well on the prognosis and are able to function well and hold on to their professional and personal lives better than those who do not seek help. However, majority of people resist the assistance offered, because of their extremely suspicious nature and mistrust.
Appropriate treatment helps patients deal with their condition better, and they are able to avoid stressful situations and keep their suspicions under control.