I have often wondered why so many people on Facebook are posting stuff about how many people are “haters” or are out to get them or the boss is persecuting them on the job. Generally, at work, if you do what they tell you and keep your mouth shut, they will leave you alone.
It turns out there is such thing a Paranoid Personality Disorder. It's a mental disorder that is on the rise. Paranoia is an unfounded or exaggerated fear that others deliberately intend to cause one harm.
In a recent study of 1,200 people at Oxford University researchers found levels of paranoia are much higher than previously suspected; it was almost on a par with depression. More than 40 per cent of the subjects were convinced that negative comments are being made behind their backs, 20 per cent worry about being observed or followed, and 5 per cent are afraid that there is a deliberate conspiracy to do them harm. According to the Cleveland Clinic paranoid personality disorder is more prevalent in males than females.
A person with paranoid personality disorder will nearly always believe that other people’s motives are suspect or even malevolent. Individuals with this disorder assume that other people will exploit, harm, or deceive them, even if no evidence exists to support their belief. It pervades virtually every professional and personal relationship they have.
These people are generally difficult to get along with and often have problems with close relationships.
Their beliefs that others are out to get them are often expressed in argumentativeness, constant complaining, or by quiet, hostile aloofness. They may act in a guarded, secretive, or devious manner and appear to be cold. Although they may appear to be objective, rational, and unemotional, they more often display a labile range of affect, with hostile, stubborn, and sarcastic expressions predominating. Their combative and suspicious nature may elicit a hostile response in others, which then serves to confirm their original expectations.
They need to have a high degree of control over those around them and are often rigid, critical of others and they have great difficulty accepting criticism.
Symptoms of Paranoid Personality Disorder
* Suspects, without sufficient basis, that others are exploiting, harming, or deceiving him or her
* Is preoccupied with unjustified doubts about the loyalty or trustworthiness of friends or associates
* Is reluctant to confide in others because of unwarranted fear that the information will be used maliciously against him or her
* Reads hidden demeaning or threatening meanings into benign remarks or events
* Persistently bears grudges (i.e., is unforgiving of insults, injuries, or slights)
* Perceives attacks on his or her character or reputation that are not apparent to others, and is quick to react angrily or to counterattack
* Has recurrent suspicions, without justification, regarding fidelity of spouse or sexual partner
Researchers don’t know what causes paranoid personality disorder; however, there are many theories about the possible causes. Most professionals think the causes are likely due to biological and genetic factors, social factors (such as how a person interacts in their early development with their family and friends and other children), and psychological factors (the individual’s personality and temperament, shaped by their environment and learned coping skills to deal with stress). If a person has this personality disorder, research suggests that there is a slightly increased risk for this disorder to be passed down to their children.