Paranoid Personality Disorder

Highest Standards, Nationally Recognized:

Treating Paranoid Personality at Avalon Malibu

Navigating the complexities of paranoid personality disorder (PPD) requires more than just insight — it demands a comprehensive approach that addresses the deep-seated feelings of distrust and suspicion. Avalon Malibu offers a professional and supportive environment where individuals with PPD can find understanding and effective treatment strategies.

Here, we combine the latest therapeutic techniques with compassionate care to help break the cycle of paranoia, fostering healthier relationships and a more positive outlook on life. Our goal is to offer individuals a clear path to recovery, empowering our clients to regain confidence in themselves and in those around them.

What Is Paranoid Personality Disorder?

Paranoid personality disorder is a cluster A personality disorder characterized by a chronic and pervasive distrust and suspicion of other people’s motives. Individuals with this mental health condition unjustly interpret others’ actions as malicious, leading to significant challenges in interpersonal relationships, social integration and personal well-being.

Symptoms of Paranoid Personality Disorder

PPD can vary in intensity but generally revolves around an excessive suspicion of others despite having no reason to experience such a high level of distrust. Symptoms include:

  • Belief that others are using, lying to, or harming them, without evidence
  • Doubting the loyalty or trustworthiness of friends or associates
  • Reluctance to confide in others due to an unwarranted fear that any information shared will be used maliciously
  • Interpretation of benign remarks or actions as demeaning or threatening
  • Persistent grudges and an unforgiving nature
  • Perceived attacks on their character or reputation not apparent to others, and quick to counterattack or react angrily
  • Recurrent suspicions, without justification, regarding fidelity of spouse or sexual partner
  • Often described as cold, secretive and jealous
  • Overly sensitive to perceived criticism
  • Controlling and manipulative in relationships

Recognizing these signs can be challenging, as those with PPD might not see their suspicions as unwarranted. However, learning to spot the symptoms of PPD is the first step toward managing this challenging condition and improving individuals’ quality of life.

How Is Paranoid Personality Disorder Treated?

Most people with PPD and other personality disorders don’t see a problem with their thinking or behavior, which can make these conditions difficult to diagnose and treat. The paranoia that characterizes the condition means that most affected people don’t seek help. Additionally, the high levels of suspicion, skepticism and doubt experienced by those with PPD make it difficult for healthcare providers to gain their trust and establish a good relationship.

However, when individuals with PPD do undergo treatment, mental health professionals typically use a combination of therapy and medication to develop new coping skills, build awareness of paranoid thinking patterns and improve relationships with others.


Researchers have found three types of therapy to be most effective in treating PPD:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT is pivotal in helping individuals with PPD challenge and reframe distorted beliefs and perceptions. By focusing on the thoughts and beliefs that underpin paranoid and suspicious feelings, CBT encourages patients to question the evidence for these beliefs, learn to distinguish between paranoid perceptions and reality and develop healthier ways of interacting with others.
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): Originally developed for borderline personality disorder, DBT has been proven effective for individuals with PPD as well. It emphasizes the development of coping skills to manage emotions more effectively, improve relationships and handle stress without resorting to paranoid thinking. DBT uses a combination of individual therapy and group skills training to teach mindfulness, emotional regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness.
  • Mentalization-based treatment (MBT): MBT helps individuals understand the intentions and emotions behind their own and others’ actions. For someone with PPD, this understanding can be transformative, reducing the inclination to interpret others’ behaviors as threatening or malicious. MBT fosters a greater capacity for empathy, enhances relationship skills and builds a more secure sense of self, all of which are crucial for individuals struggling with paranoia.


Currently, there are no medications that are FDA-approved to treat PPD or any other personality disorders. However, some medications, such as mood stabilizers, antipsychotics and antidepressants, may be used to reduce specific symptoms and address co-occurring disorders. In most cases, medication alone is not recommended for managing personality disorders and is best used in combination with therapy and other treatments.

Causes & Risk Factors

The exact causes of PPD are not fully understood. However, as with most mental health concerns, a combination of genetic, psychological and environmental factors are thought to play a role. Individuals with certain personality traits and stress responses are more likely to develop the condition, as are those with a family history of PPD or schizophrenia.

Research shows that individuals with a history of childhood trauma, parental neglect or abuse are also more prone to developing PPD, as these early experiences can shape their worldview into one where no one can be trusted, and suspicion is always warranted.

Contact Avalon Malibu

If you or a loved one is struggling with paranoid personality disorder, Avalon Malibu is here to help. Our compassionate team is ready to provide the support and care needed to overcome the challenges of PPD. Contact us today by clicking here or calling 866-332-1068 to learn more about our treatment programs and take the first step on the journey to recovery.

The Avalon Malibu Approach to Paranoid Personality Disorder

At Avalon Malibu, we recognize the complex challenges that come with treating PPD and the bravery required to seek help. We’re committed to providing a safe, healthy environment where individuals can experience healing and growth, utilizing a range of evidence-based therapies to build a strong foundation for lasting recovery. Our treatment plans are highly personalized for each client and incorporate the following:

  • A thorough assessment to understand the unique treatment goals, needs and challenges of each person
  • A holistic treatment plan that addresses the psychological, social and emotional aspects of PPD
  • A serene, supportive environment that fosters trust and healing

Our team of experienced clinicians, therapists and other mental health professionals is dedicated to providing the highest level of care to help individuals with PPD navigate their path toward a healthier, more fulfilling life. We stand by our belief that recovery is not just about managing symptoms but about rebuilding a life of purpose, connection and joy.

We will work with most out of network PPO and POS policies

Call to verify your insurance benefits today!