While almost everyone has had a sense of mistrust or suspicion at some point in their lives, some individuals continually have these feelings. In fact, the paranoia they feel can take over their lives and make it difficult to function on a daily basis. When the situation is so intense, someone affected may receive a diagnosis of paranoid personality disorder.
Feelings of paranoia can range in severity, and in extreme cases, individuals with PPD may have a completely distorted view of the world. They often have difficulty maintaining relationships due to deep feelings of mistrust and may present hostile attitudes toward those around them, including family, friends and others who want to help. They may refuse to talk about their feelings because of the mistrust they feel, may have outburst of anger due to perceived slights against them and may often feel as if they are in danger.
Though treatment for this condition does exist, the paranoia individuals feel may prevent them from seeking treatment. However, cognitive behavioral therapy may help in the following ways:
- Helping an individual recognize unhealthy thought patterns and destructive beliefs
- Reducing paranoia
- Improving social interactions
- Teaching better habits for handling emotions
This disorder can significantly affect a person’s abilities in all areas of their life, including in a workplace setting. As a result, it is not uncommon for individuals with paranoid personality disorder to not be able to hold steady employment. In such situations, affected parties may have reason to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits in hopes of gaining financial assistance.