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Paranoid Personality Disorder Treatment: Medication Therapy & Inpatient Care

Paranoid personality disorder treatment  (PPD) often includes a combination of prescription medications and psychotherapy. Paranoia, characterized by irrational and excessive feelings of persecution, mistrust, jealousy, threat, or self-importance, can damage relationships and limit daily functioning. According to a 2017 literature review, PPD affects between 1.21% and 4.4% of people worldwide.

Living with paranoid personality disorder can make reaching out for help challenging. However, you can manage paranoid personality symptoms with adequate treatment that can help you cope with many distressing and fearful situations.

This article discusses paranoid personality disorder treatment and how other conditions can contribute to paranoid feelings.

What is Paranoid Personality Disorder?

Paranoid personality disorder (PPD) involves long-term distrust and suspicion of others without significant reason. People with PPD often believe others intend to demean, harm, or threaten them but don’t recognize their behavior as problematic.

This disorder usually begins in early adulthood and appears more common in men than women. PPD falls under Cluster A personality disorders, which include eccentric thinking or behavior.

Unlike those with schizophrenia or severe bipolar disorder, people with PPD do not experience delusions or hallucinations.

Symptoms of Paranoid Personality

People with paranoid personality disorder (PPD) stay on constant guard, believing others constantly seek to harm them. This belief hinders their relationships and social lives.

In addition to a pervasive distrust of others, signs of Paranoid Personality Disorder may include:

  • Feeling that they’re being lied to, deceived, or exploited by others
  • Believing that friends, family, and romantic partners may be untrustworthy and unfaithful
  • Experiencing angry outbursts when they feel deceived
  • Interpreting gestures and conversations for hidden meanings
  • Finding it hard to relax in most situations
  • Exerting excessive control in relationships to avoid manipulation
  • Maintaining negative views of those around them
  • Reacting strongly to criticism from others
  • Displaying stubborn, hostile, and argumentative behavior in most situations

Causes of Paranoid Personality Disorder

Scientists haven’t pinpointed the exact cause of paranoid personality disorder (PPD), but they believe both environmental and biological factors probably influence it. Researchers have discovered that neglect during childhood—whether it’s emotional, physical, or lack of supervision—can significantly contribute to PPD emerging during adolescence or early adulthood.

In the past, scientists thought there might be a strong genetic link between PPD and other conditions like schizophrenia or schizotypal personality disorder. However, further studies have shown that this connection isn’t as strong as previously assumed.

Medications & Therapies for Paranoid Personality Disorder Treatment

Paranoid personality disorder treatment often consists of psychotherapy sessions and, sometimes, medication. Therapists can play a crucial role in supporting individuals with paranoid personality disorder. They model positive interactions, foster trust, and encourage active engagement in treatment.

Therapies  for Paranoid Personality Disorder Treatment

Therapy is majorly used as paranoid personality disorder treatment, which increases coping skills, trust, and empathy and improves social interaction, communication, and self-esteem. Here are the significant therapies adopted by the patient:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT helps people with paranoid personality disorder by teaching them how to recognize and change their unhelpful thoughts. Therapists guide them to see things in a more balanced way.

Individual Therapy

In one-on-one therapy, individuals receive personalized support to understand and deal with their feelings. They learn skills to manage their worries and improve their relationships with others.

Group Therapy

In group sessions, people with similar experiences come together to share and learn from each other. Therapists help them challenge their thoughts in a safe, supportive setting.

Family Therapy

Therapists work with families to improve understanding and communication. They help everyone find better ways to support each other through the challenges of the disorder.

Nutrition Counseling

Nutritionists help individuals create healthy eating habits. They teach them about foods that can improve mood and energy levels, even if they’re wary of certain foods.

Medications  for Paranoid Personality Disorder Treatment

Research on medications for paranoid personality disorder treatment is limited, but some studies suggest they can help, especially for those with additional conditions. Medication might be beneficial for individuals with paranoid personality disorder who also have other mental health issues.

Anti-Anxiety Medications

  • Paroxetine (Paxil)
  • Citalopram (Celexa)
  • Escitalopram (Lexapro)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)


Doctors often use a type of antidepressant called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These medications help the brain manage serotonin levels, which can lessen feelings of depression and anxiety. Common SSRIs like Prozac and Zoloft are safe for most people who also have depression.


Psychiatrists don’t usually prescribe antipsychotic medications for personality disorders like paranoid personality disorder, even though they’re similar to psychotic disorders. But recently, they’ve found that certain antipsychotics like Risperdal and Zyprexa can help ease symptoms of paranoid personality disorder.

However, these medications don’t work as well for this disorder as they do for schizophrenia. They’re typically only suggested if someone’s aggressive or delusional symptoms are severe and could harm them or make therapy hard.

Inpatient Care

Inpatient care is considered another widely adopted for paranoid personality disorder treatment. People with paranoid personality disorder might go to a hospital for treatment when they’re in a crisis. This happens if they start acting on their false beliefs in a way that could hurt them or others.

For example, if someone thinks their food is poisoned and stops eating or believes they need to do something drastic to protect themselves, they can get help to stabilize and stay safe in the hospital.

Sometimes, they might choose to go to the hospital themselves, especially if they feel they need intense help for a while. Being in the hospital can give them a chance to focus on their mental health without the stress from outside.

FAQ: Paranoid Personality Disorder Treatment

1. Is paranoid personality disorder treatable?

Paranoid personality disorder (PPD) doesn’t have a cure, but treatment can help lessen paranoid thoughts and make life better overall.

2. How do you overcome paranoid personality disorder?

Paranoid personality disorder (PPD) doesn’t have a cure, but getting help can reduce paranoid thoughts and improve life in general.

3. How to deal with a family member with paranoid personality disorder?

Support them with patience and understanding, and encourage them to seek professional help to manage their symptoms. Establish clear boundaries to ensure both their safety and yours while maintaining empathy and compassion.

4. How can I stop paranoia naturally?

Practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing and meditation, and surround yourself with supportive people for reassurance.

5. How serious is a paranoid personality?

People with PPD are more likely to stop working earlier in their lives than people without personality disorders.


There isn’t a cure for paranoid personality disorder, but getting help from professionals can make a big difference. Therapy can teach you how to change negative thoughts and improve how you handle relationships. If you have anxiety or depression along with paranoid personality disorder, medication might help, too.

Remember, even if things seem harsh now, there’s support out there. It’s important to always talk to a doctor or therapist for the best advice and treatment.

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