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Things To Remember When You Love Someone With Paranoid Personality Disorder

Things To Remember When You Love Someone With Paranoid Personality Disorder

When you think of paranoid people, you may think of some weird bearded hermit in the woods, muttering about how “they” are out to get him.

But paranoid personality disorder (PPD) is a real mental disorder which hits real people. As it afflicts between 2.3 percent to 4.4 percent of the general population, you have likely met someone with this disorder in your life. Perhaps you have tried to be their friend, or perhaps you are or want to be even closer than that.

Such a situation can be difficult. But it does not deserve sympathy, but understanding. Attempting to sympathize with someone with PPD is one of the worst things which you can do. The paranoid person will just grow suspicious at seeing someone be sympathetic towards him, and will just spiral deeper into further paranoia.

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What is PPD?

Psych Central states Paranoid Personality Disorder “…is characterized by a pervasive distrust and suspiciousness of others such that their motives are interpreted as malevolent.”

The most important thing to remember is that paranoia is not just that fear that “they” are out to get him. It is an inability to trust others and a willingness to believe the worst of others as well as their motives. All emotions are amplified, like having a constant cell phone booster attached to your head. A colleague’s slight ribbing can be interpreted as vicious mockery. And as noted above, sympathy can be viewed as a clever ploy which will be used to eventually deceive them.

Because of the fear of being called “paranoid” by society, those who suffer from this disability will it. But there are successful people who psychologists have good reason to believe suffered from this disorder.

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Perhaps the best example is Richard Nixon. Nixon had a difficult time trusting others throughout his career, and was always worried about being defeated or losing. It was this fear which caused him to order the Watergate break-in even though he was all but certain to win the  1972 election, and it was this fear which made him record everything in the White House – records which would eventually lead to his downfall.

But while Nixon’s name will be forever associated with the Watergate incident, we should not forget that he did many great things as President. He established relations between America and China. He established the Environmental Protection Agency, and desegregated Southern schools. Nixon is an example of how those with this disorder can be both great, intelligent individuals who are held back by their constant suspicious of others.

What does PPD mean to you?

Those outside the world of paranoid personality disorder may feel shocked or irritated when they are pushed by someone with this disorder. But they have to understand just how difficult it is to trust.

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We all have someone who we just do not like or trust at all. If that person came up to you, offered you a beer, and acted like he was your best friend in the world, would you feel happy? Perhaps. But most people would wonder, “Just what is he up to?”

For someone with paranoid personality disorder, everyone is that person. Some do not even realize that they are so suspicious but cannot help themselves. But that suspicion of ill intentions is always there, and it can hurt their work and their relationships.

Now, people with PPD can eventually trust others. But it is hard work, and can be lost easily if you are not careful. Those in a relationship need to understand this.

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How can you help?

If you think that someone you love has this disorder, just straight up suggesting counseling is not the best idea. Someone who is naturally suspicious will only grow more so upon such a suggestion, both of you as well as the very idea of counselling. If someone with PPD does not think he has a problem, then there is nothing you can do.

But this does not mean to just let them get away with everything they want. While some may think that people with PPD will go nuts if their relations do not do everything which they command, this is absolutely not the case. They can understand that everyone has their limits, especially because their limits are so low.

Setting boundaries is an important part of any relationship, both in establishing a strong relationship and repairing a broken one. It is even more crucial in these cases. If there are no boundaries, your partner may very well begin pushing you into areas you do not want to test your trust. Do not play those games, be firm, and respect yourself to respect him.

Understand that in the world of one with PPD, everyone is mistrustful. But trust is not impossible to gain. And if you can find a relationship with someone like that, understanding can help establish boundaries which can get through almost anything.

Featured photo credit: Yun Huang Yong via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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