Dr. Ankur Saraiya talks about paranoid personality disorder and its treatment.
Read the full transcript »
As the name implies, the main component of Paranoid Personality Disorder, is feelings of being discriminated against or oppressed on the part of the individual with the disorder. It's often thought about in the same arena as other disorders that involve paranoid thinking but the main difference is, is that in other illnesses, such as schizophrenia, or other illnesses where people can have delusions or were to call paranoid delusions, individuals with Paranoid Personality Disorder do not have a departure from reality. They're not inventing schemes and plots against them, but rather, they tend to view all of genuine interactions with other people through a lens of being concerned that they're being taken advantage of and they're always assuming the worst and assuming bad intentions among people that they interact with to the point where they'll often look for evidence that people are trying to demean them or undermine them. They can respond to reality testing, but they'll often feel oppressed even if people make an effort to reassure them. In terms of treatment, the best treatment for any personality disorder is psychotherapy. A good relationship with a therapist that can build some trust to help an individual look at situations in a different way to try to reduce the amount that they believe that other are out trying to get them. While medications do help paranoid symptoms and other illnesses, it's not believed that medications can be helpful for individuals who have Paranoid Personality Disorder. So, it's very important to differentiate between psychotic illnesses with delusions and Paranoid Personality Disorder because you don't want to expose someone with Paranoid Personality Disorder to the potential side effects and risks associated with anti psychotic medication. But, basically, it's for individuals who have a pervasive sense of worry and concern that other people are out to get them but their reality testing is in tact.