The Mistrust in Paranoid Personality Disorder

A personality disorder, especially when left untreated, can have a profound impact on the way you experience the world. As noted in an article from PLOS One, personality disorders can become comorbid with psychotic symptoms or psychotic disorders. In particular, personality disorders like paranoid personality disorder (PPD) share common features with psychotic disorders. PPD can impede your ability to function in your daily life and build stable relationships. 

You may wonder what PPD is. How can it make daily life and relationships difficult to maintain?

What Is Paranoid Personality Disorder?

According to MedlinePlus, PPD is a mental health disorder in which you show a “long-term pattern of distrust and suspicion of others.” Although PPD is not a psychotic disorder, it has a history of being found in families with psychotic disorders like schizophrenia. It is more commonly observed in men. As of yet, the cause of the disorder is not fully known. 

Moreover, as the PLOS One article notes, the comorbid nature of personality disorders and psychotic disorders can share some common features like hallucinations.

Signs and Symptoms of Paranoid Personality Disorder

Many people wonder how to tell the difference between a personality disorder like PPD and a psychotic disorder. How do you know if you or a loved one has PPD? MedlinePlus outlines some of the signs and symptoms of PPD. If you notice the following signs or symptoms in yourself or a loved one, PPD may be the culprit:

  • Signs
    • Suspicious of other people
    • Extremely limited social life
    • Feeling like you are in danger and seeking evidence to support this feeling
    • Difficulty recognizing that your sense of danger is out of proportion
  • Symptoms
    • Concerns that other people have hidden motives
    • Think you will be exploited or harmed by others
    • Inability to work with others
    • Social isolation
    • Experiencing detachment
    • Feelings of hostility

The signs and symptoms of PPD highlight the difficulties you may feel when trying to build healthy relationships and function in your daily life. If you distrust everyone around you, it makes it difficult to seek out employment and education. Distrust also makes it difficult to engage in social activities and build meaningful relationships.

Living With Paranoid Personality Disorder

As noted in an article from Current Behavioral Neuroscience Reports, PPD in particular has been a significant cause of disability among people with personality disorders. Even if you have PPD without co-occurring health issues, you are more likely to stop working earlier than other groups of people. Feelings of suspicion and mistrust in others make it difficult to function in a work environment where you have to interact with and rely on others.

Additionally, PPD can present through aggressive behavior, depression, and higher comorbidity with other personality disorders. As many personality disorders have a high correlation with suicidal ideation and suicide attempts, higher mortality rates from self-harm are a feature of PPD. The most common comorbid personality disorders with PPD include avoidant personality disorder (AvPD), borderline personality disorder (BPD), and narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). 

Paranoid thoughts, feelings, and behaviors can make it difficult for you to feel connected to and comforted by other people. Suspicions and doubt in the trustworthiness of others encourage social isolation. When you isolate yourself from others, you may feel alone and uncared for. Retreating only serves to increase the symptoms of your disorder.

As noted in an article from the European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, when isolated, there is no opportunity to reconsider the truthfulness of your paranoid thoughts. Without positive social interactions to counter the paranoid thoughts your brain feeds you, there is space to maintain or increase those unhealthy thinking and behavior patterns.

Supporting Mental Health Recovery

As we know at 12 South Recovery, treating mental health disorders typically involves some form of therapy as a part of your treatment plan. Recovery from disorders like PPD does not start with the treatment but with a willingness on your part to take that first step to seek support.

Feeling suspicious of other people can make it difficult to reach out for support. However, the opportunity to start feeling better, have better functionality in your life, and form meaningful relationships is worth the effort. 

Support at 12 South Recovery

At 12 South Recovery, we offer a wide range of therapeutic techniques to support you and your specific needs. With our client-centered approach to care, we acknowledge there is no fixed path to recovery. We have dedicated ourselves to building treatment plans and providing services tailored to you.

Treatment and recovery are group efforts. Our holistic and inclusive mindset means you will always have a say in your treatment. We are committed to making sure you feel heard, understood, and supported. Together, we will find a path to recovery that will lead you toward a healthier you. 

When disorders like paranoid personality disorder are left untreated, they can harm your functionality and relationships. Living with PPD can make it difficult to trust other people, which can lead to social isolation and the development of other co-occurring disorders like depression. However, when you reach out for help, you can find support from clinicians who want to help you find the best path toward recovery for you. At 12 South Recovery, we believe in taking a client-centered approach to care because how you experience the world is unique to you. We are committed to working with you to build a treatment plan that works for you. To learn more about our approach to care, call us at 866-839-6876.

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