​Paranoid Personality Disorder

Paranoid personality disorder (PPD) is part of a group of diseases called "Cluster A" personality disorders which involve odd or eccentric ways of thinking. If you suffer from PPD, you very likely to also suffer from paranoia, that is, an unrelenting mistrust and suspicion of others even when there is no reason to be suspicious. This disorder usually begins in early adulthood and is more common in men than in women. 

The exact causes of paranoid personality disorder are unknown but it is a combination of biological and psychological factors. If you have a family history of psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia and delusional disorder, then you are more likely to suffer from this disease. Other than genetic factors, environmental factors may play a role in it as well.​​

If you have PPD, you are very suspicious of other people. As a result, you severely limit your social life. You often feel that you are in danger and look for evidence to support your suspicions. You have trouble seeing that your distrustfulness is creating problems in your social relationships.

Common symptoms of PPD include:

  • Believing that other people have hidden motives

  • Expectation that you will be exploited by others

  • Inability to work together with others

  • Social isolation

  • Detachment​

  • Hostility

  • Holding grudges​

  • Reluctance to confide in others

  • Being angry and quick to retaliate

  • Having suspicions that others are attacking your character

  • Being cold and distant in your relationship with others

  • Being unnecessarily stubborn and argumentative​

  • Having difficulty in relaxing

  • Never take the blame in a conflict and always believing you are right​

If you feel socially isolated and harbour feelings of anger, suspicion and detachment, seek help from your doctor working with the Mind and Brain Service Line​ at The Aga Khan University Hospital. You can safely and privately discuss your symptoms, gain advice and receive personalized treatment and care.​

Your time with your doctor may be limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here are some tips to help get you started.​

If you present symptoms of PPD, your doctor will begin the evaluation by obtaining a complete medical history and conducting a thorough physical examination. There is no laboratory tests specifically designed to diagnose personality disorders, but your doctor will use various diagnostic tests to rule out any physical illness that might be causing your symptoms.

If there are no physical reasons detected for your symptoms, you will be referred to a psychiatrist or psychologist, who is a medically trained individual to diagnose and treat mental illnesses. They will use specially designed methods to assess you for a personality disorder.

If you are suffering from PPD, you are unlikely to seek treatment on your own because it may be hard for you to admit that you have a problem. The distrust you feel poses a challenge for your doctor because trust is an important factor of psychotherapy (counselling), needed to help you improve. Therefore, it is very important to follow your recommended treatment plan. 

Psychotherapy is the main form of treatment for PPD. Your treatment will be aimed at improving general coping skills, as well as social interaction, communication, and self-esteem. Therapy or counselling will involve talking to your doctor about your feelings and symptoms, and building rapport and trust over time. The therapist will carefully and delicately induce you to start trusting him/her and discuss your problems and their causes, offering you advice and support throughout the process. 

Medication is generally not used to treat PPD but sometimes medications such as anti-anxiety, antidepressant or anti-psychotic drugs might be prescribed if your symptoms are extreme, or if you also suffer from an associated psychological problem, such as anxiety or depression​. ​

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.​

The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments’ costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.​

Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.​


​​The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.