Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Paranoid Personality Disorder

  • Cynthia RolstonEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_9199


Characterological disorder defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association 2013) as “a pattern of pervasive distrust and suspiciousness of others such that their motives are interpreted as malevolent” presenting in early adult life and across multiple contexts.

Current criteria for PPD include:
  • Unwarranted suspicions that others will exploit, harm, or deceive.

  • Preoccupation with unjustified doubts about the loyalty or trustworthiness of others, recurrent unfounded suspicions of infidelity in intimate relations.

  • Reluctance to confide in others, fearing information may be used maliciously.

  • Tendency to find demeaning or threatening meanings in remarks or events.

  • Unforgiving of insults or slights, maintaining grudges.

  • Perception that others are attacking personal character or reputation and quick to counterattack.


The disorder is classified with the Cluster A Personality Disorders in DSM-5.


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References and Readings

  1. Agnello, T., Fante, C., & Pruneti, C. (2013). Paranoid personality disorder: New areas of research in diagnosis and treatment. Journal of Psychopathology, 19, 310–319.Google Scholar
  2. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington: American Psychiatric Association Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Birkeland, S. F. (2013a). Paranoid personality disorder and the schizophrenia spectrum – Where to draw the line? Personality and Mental Health, 7(3), 254–258.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  4. Birkeland, S. F. (2013b). Psychopharmacological treatment and course in paranoid personality disorder: A case series. International Clinical Psychopharmacology, 28(5), 283–285.  https://doi.org/10.1097/YIC.0b013e328363f676.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  5. Iacovino, J. M., Jackson, J. J., & Oltmanns, T. F. (2014). The relative impact of socioeconomic status and childhood trauma on black-white differences in paranoid personality disorder symptoms. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 123(1), 225.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Kellett, S., & Hardy, G. (2014). Treatment of paranoid personality disorder with cognitive analytic therapy: A mixed methods single case experimental design. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, 21(5), 452–464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Triebwasser, J., Chemerinski, E., Roussos, P., & Siever, L. J. (2013). Paranoid personality disorder. Journal of Personality Disorders, 27(6), 795–805.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PM&R, Virginia Commonwealth University-Medical College of VirginiaRichmondUSA