Paranoid Personality Disorder (PPD)

What defines someone as having Paranoid Personality Disorder? Take a look at the signs, symptoms and traits of the paranoid.

The paranoid's world is hostile, arbitrary, malicious, and unpredictable. Consequently, he or she distrusts others and suspects them. No good deed goes unpunished. Every gesture of goodwill is surely fuelled by ulterior, self-interested and uncharitable motives. Paranoids are firmly convinced that people are out to exploit, harm, get, or deceive them, sometimes just for the fun of it. Evil needs no pretext or context, it is just out there without good or sufficient cause.

These nagging doubts about the loyalty or trustworthiness of others gnaw at the paranoid's mind ceaselessly. No one is spared his constant brooding. His hypervigilance extends to family members, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. Persecutory delusions are common: most paranoids believe that they are at the epicenter of conspiracies and collusions, big and small, quotidian and earth-shattering.

The paranoid's conviction that he is the target of the unwelcome and frightful attentions of unnamed and occult structures and people serves well his grandiosity. Like narcissists, paranoids need to be at the center of attention. They must prove to themselves on an hourly basis that they are of sufficient importance and interest to warrant such persecution.

No wonder that patients with PPD (paranoid personality disorder) are typically socially isolated and considered eccentric.

I describe their existence thus in the Open Site Encyclopedia:

"They may cower at home, planning a defense against perceived attacks, yet may reject any attempts by others to communicate with them. They may become reclusive, maintaining suspicions that others may use information against them. From others, even the most benign gestures, comments, or events, assume threatening proportions, nefarious meanings or malicious intent. Even benign encounters may be misinterpreted as threats.

Paranoid persons may dwell on the trivial. They may be hypersensitive, bear grudges and be unforgiving. Remarks by others may be immediately interpreted as an insult, injury, attack, or slight directed at their personality or reputation, and may provoke aggressive responses. They may eventually be shunned because of their eccentric behavior; moreover, this may include close family members, as well as friends."

Read Notes from the therapy of a Paranoid Patient

This article appears in my book, "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited"


next: Schizotypal Personality Disorder

APA Reference
Vaknin, S. (2009, October 1). Paranoid Personality Disorder (PPD), HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 14 from

Last Updated: July 5, 2018

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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