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Paranoid personality disorder

Paranoid personality disorder is a psychiatric diagnosis that denotes a personality disorder with paranoid features.

The use of the term paranoia in this context is not meant to refer to the presence of frank delusions or psychosis, but implies the presence of ongoing, unbased suspiciousness and distrust of people.

Diagnostic Criteria

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders defines paranoid personality disorder as the following:

Pervasive distrust of others in which motives are perceived as malevolent, beginning in early adulthood, as indicated by four (or more) of the following criteria:

  • suspects, without sufficient basis, that others are maliciously exploiting or deceiving him or her.
  • reluctant to confide in others due to unwarranted suspicion that information will be used against him or her.
  • preoccupied with unsubstantiated doubts of loyalty of friends or acquaintances.
  • reads slight or threatening meanings into benign remarks.
  • quick to react angrily to perceived attacks on his or her character.
  • persistently bears grudges, unforgiving of perceived insult or slight.
  • unjustified recurrent suspicions of fidelity of spouse.

For these behaviors to be attributed to Paranoid Personality Disorder, they cannot occur exclusively during the course of Mood Disorder with Psychotic Features or Schizophrenia.

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