Type your tag names separated by a space and hit enter

Paranoid Personality Disorder

Paranoid Personality Disorder is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Clinical Consult.

To view the entire topic, please or purchase a subscription.

Medicine Central™ is a quick-consult mobile and web resource that includes diagnosis, treatment, medications, and follow-up information on over 700 diseases and disorders, providing fast answers—anytime, anywhere. Explore these free sample topics:

Medicine Central

-- The first section of this topic is shown below --



  • Paranoid personality disorder is a pattern of distrust and suspiciousness such that others’ motives are interpreted as malevolent.
  • Consequently, patients avoid intimate relationships, bear grudges, and expect to be exploited by others.
  • Paranoid personality disorder is one of the cluster A personality disorders.
  • Certain DSM-IV personality disorders (paranoid, schizoid, histrionic, and dependent as well as the residual category of PDNOS) are now diagnosed in the DSM-5 as personality disorder—trait specified (PD-TS), which is represented by the following:
    • Significant impairment in personality functioning
    • Pathologic personality traits


  • Predominant age: first manifests during childhood or adolescence
  • Predominant sex: male > female
  • Increased in families with delusional disorder (persecutory type) and chronic schizophrenia

  • Thought to be underdiagnosed as these patients are less likely to seek treatment
  • 0.5–2.5% of the general population
  • 2–10% of psychiatric outpatients
  • 10–30% of psychiatric inpatients

Etiology and Pathophysiology

Paranoid sense of mistrust can result from childhood abuse/neglect and/or genetic predisposition to paranoia. Specific causes are unknown.

Genetic predisposition may play a role (see “Incidence”).

Risk Factors

  • Family history of paranoid personality disorder
  • Childhood abuse/neglect

Commonly Associated Conditions

  • May develop major depressive disorder
  • May be at increased risk for obsessive-compulsive disorder and agoraphobia
  • At risk for alcohol and/or other substance abuse/dependence
  • Most common co-occurring personality disorders are schizotypal, schizoid, narcissistic, avoidant, and borderline.

-- To view the remaining sections of this topic, please or purchase a subscription --


Stephens, Mark B., et al., editors. "Paranoid Personality Disorder." 5-Minute Clinical Consult, 27th ed., Wolters Kluwer, 2019. Medicine Central, im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/816845/all/Paranoid_Personality_Disorder.
Paranoid Personality Disorder. In: Stephens MB, Golding J, Baldor RA, et al, eds. 5-Minute Clinical Consult. 27th ed. Wolters Kluwer; 2019. https://im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/816845/all/Paranoid_Personality_Disorder. Accessed April 19, 2019.
Paranoid Personality Disorder. (2019). In Stephens, M. B., Golding, J., Baldor, R. A., & Domino, F. J. (Eds.), 5-Minute Clinical Consult. Available from https://im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/816845/all/Paranoid_Personality_Disorder
Paranoid Personality Disorder [Internet]. In: Stephens MB, Golding J, Baldor RA, Domino FJ, editors. 5-Minute Clinical Consult. Wolters Kluwer; 2019. [cited 2019 April 19]. Available from: https://im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/816845/all/Paranoid_Personality_Disorder.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Paranoid Personality Disorder ID - 816845 ED - Stephens,Mark B, ED - Golding,Jeremy, ED - Baldor,Robert A, ED - Domino,Frank J, BT - 5-Minute Clinical Consult, Updating UR - https://im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/816845/all/Paranoid_Personality_Disorder PB - Wolters Kluwer ET - 27 DB - Medicine Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -