Paranoid Personality Disorder

Malignant paranoids combine aspects of the paranoid and sadistic personalities. Such individuals have built expectations that they will be on the receiving end of others’ aggressions.

Highly sensitive to power issues, their strategy is to dominate you before you can dominate them. Intimidating and belligerent, they possess a ruthless desire to avenge past wrongs and triumph over others.

Even when they are alone, the long list of perceived wrongs done to them constantly rises into awareness, thus keeping a potential for aggression close to the surface. However, many have found that their actual efforts at abusing and terrorizing others routinely backfire, which leads them to seek retribution more through fantasy than action. These setbacks are wrought by their own hand, as their chip-on-the-shoulder attitude toward others provokes abundant antagonism.

As they become more isolated, left to ruminate over this self-created perpetual cycle of interpersonal hostility, fanatic paranoids begin to cogitate on the perceived malicious nature of their hostile environment, complete with the venomous individuals who inhabit it.

Via the intrapsychic mechanism of projection, they begin to attribute their own acrimony to others, ascribing to them all of the enmity they feel within themselves.

As the line between objective antagonism and imagined hostility grows thin, the belief that others are intentionally persecuting them may take on almost delusional proportions.

The need to protect their autonomy against any and all outside influence is a defining feature of this variant because nothing is so valuable and so vulnerable to them as their sense of self-worth. This is particularly evident in the content of their persecutory delusions.

The malevolence they perceive emanating from others is neither casual nor random but designed to intimidate, offend, undermine their self-esteem, control their thoughts, and weaken their will. They are ever alert against their darkest fears: Others will make them soft and yielding, forced to submit to authority, or worse, tricked into surrendering their self-determination.

    The research data for this work have been adapted from:
  1. Understanding Paranoia: A Guide for Professionals, Families, and Sufferers By Martin Kantor
  2. Personality Disorders: Toward the DSM-V By William O'Donohue, Katherine A. Fowler, Scott O. Lilienfeld.
  3. The Fundamentals of Psychological Medicine By R.R. Tilleard-Cole, J. Marks
  4. Personality Disorders in Modern Life By Theodore Millon, Carrie M. Millon, Sarah E. Meagher, Seth D. Grossman, Rowena Ramnath