Many third culture kids find it difficult to form close relationships. Why? Because they create an invisible shield to protect themselves from the pain of saying goodbye. Sometimes all that is needed is to make an effort and get out of our comfort zone when we start relationships. Other times, a third culture kid maybe suffering from a personality disorder. In this series, we will be discussing personality disorders.
If someone calls you paranoid, what does it mean? Paranoid personality disorder (PPD) is a psychological personality disorder. Those who have the disorder have an unusually high level of suspicion or mistrust of people. Because they do not trust others, it is hard to live with them. Those who are around people who suffer from paranoid personality disorder will often resist their suspicions. The resistance will be perceived as a confirmation that they were right to doubt those closest to them.
People with paranoid personality disorder:
- Do not forgive and hold grudges. If someone hurts them, they remember every detail of the experience.
- are extremely sensitive. They often perceive criticism as an attack to them.
- are doubtful of the commitment or loyalty of those closest to them.
- control those closest to them
- panic easily and have a difficulty relaxing
- perceive some hidden meaning in what people tell them even when that is not the case
- think people are using them
- think people are deceiving them
- are always on their guard in case those closest to them will leave them
- have a hard time confiding in others because they fear any information they share will be used against them
- quick to get defensive because they think others are attacking their character or behavior
- observe the body language of others to see if there is a hidden meaning in what they are not saying
- believe their spouse or partner is unfaithful even when they are not
- quick to take revenge when they think others are attacking them
- can be hostile
- can get stubborn when they do not get what they want
- argue when someone does not agree with them
What is the cause of paranoid personality disorder?
Although the cause of paranoid personality disorder is unknown, it could be genetic and/or the result of physical and emotional trauma in childhood. When there is schizophrenia in a family, it is common to see paranoid personality disorder as well. Some childhood experiences may also cause paranoid personality disorder.
What is the treatment for people who may suffer from paranoid personality disorder?
If you think you have paranoid personality disorder, consult a psychotherapist. Often, those with paranoid personality disorder are in denial about the disorder. Therefore, they do not get help or treatment. When treatment is initiated, it is important to follow through. Sometimes, people with paranoid personality disorder will discontinue treatment because of their mistrust of the psychotherapist. Treatment involves improving coping skills, communication, social skills and building self-esteem.
Medication is not usually used but anti-anxiety or anti-psychotic medicines are sometimes used to help those with paranoid personality disorder to cope.
Paranoid Personality Disorder PPD
Cleveland Clinic Paranoid Personality Disorder
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