By Dr. David Feldman
Adolescents who have paranoid personality disorder exhibit long-standing patterns of unescapable suspiciousness and distrust on others. Teens who have this disorder frequently believe that other people have suspicious motives. They tend to assume that people will deceive, harm or exploit them even when there is no evidence to support their assumption.
They are difficult to be with and oftentimes have issues on close relationships. Hostility and excessive suspiciousness happen with overt contrariness. Due to their hyper-vigilant attitude towards potential threats, they act secretive, guarded, or devious. They are also rational, unemotional and objective. Adolescents express a level of hostility towards others because of the suspicious and combative nature.
Symptoms of Paranoid Personality Disorder in Adolescents
- Suspicious without concrete basis that other people are harming, exploiting or deceiving them.
- Preoccupied with groundless doubts about trustworthiness or loyalty of their friends.
- Reluctant in confiding in others due to unjustified fear that information may be used against them.
- Reads threatening meanings in remarks
- Bears grudges and unforgiving of slights, insults or injuries.
- Perceives sort of attacks on them or their reputation and tend to counterattack quickly in an angry manner.
Paranoid Personality Disorder in adolescents is generally not diagnosed especially when they have another psychotic disorder such as being bipolar, depressive or schizophrenic. Because this disorder has long-standing behavior patterns, it can be diagnosed in the adulthood stage that is why Paranoid Personality Disorder in adolescents may only last for 1 year.
Paranoid Personality Disorder is more common among females, and in general, the intensity of this disorder decreases with age. Paranoid Personality Disorder must be diagnosed by a mental health specialist who will compare the symptoms to the life history of the person. There is no blood, genetic or laboratory test to be done in diagnosing this disorder.
Causes of Paranoid Personality Disorder
Researchers have not yet discovered the causes of Paranoid Personality Disorder, but there are many theories that point to the possible causes of this disorder. Most clinical professionals agree to the biopsychosocial model of causation wherein the causes are from genetic, biological factors and social factors (how people with the disorder interacts with their family and friends in their early development) as well as psychological factors (the person’s temperament and personality that is shaped by the environment and acquired coping skills in dealing with stress).
This has suggested that there is really no single factor that can be solely responsible. This explains that the condition can be a result of a complex and intertwined nature of the 3 factors. If a person has Paranoid Personality Disorder, it is more likely that the risk of him/her passing the disorder to their future children will increase.
Treatment of Paranoid Personality Disorder
The treatment of this personality disorder normally involves a long-term psychotherapy done by experienced therapists. In addition to that, medications are also prescribed in order to help with the specific debilitating and troubling symptoms.