Paranoid Personality Disorders
Paranoid personalities are characterized by projection of their own hostilities and conflicts onto others.
These person are markedly sensitive to interpersonal relationships and tend to find hostile and malevolent
intentions behind trivial, innocent, or even kindly acts by others. Often their suspicious attitudes lead to
agressive feelings or behavior or bring about rejection by others, which seems to justify their original feelings;
however, they are unable to see their own roles in this cycle.
Their behavior may be designed to prove their adequacy , while their sense of superiority becomes
exaggerated and is accompanied by belittlement of others. In many spheres these persons may be
highly efficient and conscientious, although envious and inflexible. They may be litigious, especially
when they feel a sense of righteous indignation.
Paranoid tendencies are prone to develop among those who feel particularly inferior because of a
defect or handicap that make them feel noticeably different from their peers. Likewise, sensory impairment,
particularly chronic deafness, has a similar effect since it reduces their capacity for reality testing and thus
leads to the misinterpretation of being talked about or laughed at.
Treatment strategies for personality disorders will vary although some basic general concepts can be
applied. Motivation for treatment/therapy often comes from someone other than the person involved so the
patient often feels that the reason for therapy are foreign to him or that he is being victimized.
Over the long term, the anxiety and depression of personality disorders are rarely eliminated by
pharmacotherapy and drug abuse is a common complication of prescribing drugs to people with
Commonly, most therapeutic gains are made only in the setting of long term relationships with
another person, who must be flexible, reassuring and usually more active than passive. Patients
need to be confronted with the way their behavior affects other people. Frequently, limits on behavior
need to be set and reality issues dealt with. In many cases the family should be involved, since group
pressure seems to be effective. Group and family treatment, group living situations, therapeutic social
clubs, milieu hospital therapy, can all be important in treatment. The patient's self esteem must be
supported while his maladaptive modes of behavior are confronted.
Please Note: As with all mental illnesses, it is important that Muslims attempt to get advice from a
Muslim psychologist, psychiatrist, physician, or counselor. For patients that are unable to find a Muslim
physician in their area specializing in psychology, it would still be helpful if they were able to consult with a
Muslim clinician and receive advice or assistant with ensuring that the treatment program outlined is in
accordance with Islamic principles.