What are the signs of paranoia

Test: Am I Paranoid?

Do you feel persecuted, always mistreated? Are you sensitive to criticism, resentful and suspicious? That would be a psychologist paranoid personality call.

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The best videos on paranoid personality disorder

Sick of paranoid schizophrenia at the age of 28 | SWR documentary

In search of microphones that supposedly monitor him, Klaus Gauger smashes his parents' house. The diagnosis divides his life into an easy before and a difficult phase after. After a stay in psychiatry, he got his life under control with medication and, as a 53-year-old, now worked symptom-free as an everyday companion. In his book “My Schizophrenia” he describes how he fared with paranoia and delusions.

How do you help paranoid people? | Dr. Reinhard Pichler

The psychotherapist and coach has a whole series of videos on personality disorders on his YouTube channel. In the video on paranoia, he explains how you, as a relative, can deal with paranoia, the constant fear of being monitored, and how you can use small portions of reference to reality.

Why does one become schizophrenic | Techniker Krankenkasse

The video doesn't just explain the causes of schizophrenia. Dr. Johannes Wimmer a.

Anna and the voices in the head | MDR report

In her blog “weltkehrt”, 23-year-old Anna shares her everyday life, dealing with her schizophrenia and the meanwhile 7-year-old odyssey through psychiatric hospitals and clinics.

The best movies about paranoia

The white noise (2002) | with Daniel Brühl

In the feature film "The white noise”Daniel Brühl plays a paranoid, schizophrenic patient. The 21-year-old Lukas moves to the big city and plunges into the nightlife. After a drug trip, he can't get rid of the voices in his head.

Amazon | IMDB Score: 7.1

The best books on paranoia

The novel “Ich oder Ich” is based on a true story. The author
Mathias Illigen developed a psychosis and killed his own father because he thought he was the head of a conspiracy.

Me or Me: The True Story of a Man Who Killed His Father by Mathias Illigen

The best songs about paranoia

Black Sabbath - Paranoid

"People think I'm insane
Because I am frowning all the time ”

Iron Maiden - Fear Of The Dark

“Fear of the dark, fear of the dark
I have a constant fear that something’s always near ”

Ellie Goulding - Lights

“Noises, I play within my head
Touch my own skin
And hope they'll still be there
And I think back to when ”

What is Paranoid Personality Disorder?

People with a paranoid personality disorder areextremely suspicious. They always expect the worst from others, so keep their distance and watch out for signs that they are being cheated on.

If you feel offendedreact angrily and aggressively. Even with their own mistakes, they always look to others to blame. Your idiosyncratic, quirky behavior is incomprehensible to partners, friends and acquaintances.

Paranoia in the relationship

The constant distrust leads to a lot of jealousy. Because they firmly believe that the partner is unfaithful, she staysRelationship unstable and full of arguments.

That can turn into oneJealousy increase. The victim then frantically collects superficial “evidence”.

Paranoia in everyday life

The more severe the disorder, the less the person's beliefs have to do with reality. In addition to mistrust, there is also a belief in hidden signals and messages.

"The neighbor dog barks just for me - so I can't sleep."

"The secret service is monitoring me through the central heating."


In the inpatient stay approx. 21 days, then accompanying psychotherapy. Refrain from alcohol.


With early treatment with medication and psychological therapy, the prognosis is good. The person concerned falls into one of the three thirds:

  • A third of those affected have no re-episodes after the first outbreak
  • A third is symptom-free between isolated subsequent episodes
  • A third have chronic episodes.


More than three quarters of people with a paranoid personality have other mental disorders (comorbidities). Schizotypic, narcissistic, self-insecure, borderline and passive-aggressive personality disorders are common.

How a psychologist determines paranoia

To establish a definitive diagnosis, use a psychologist

  1. do an extensive psychological test with you - like the questionnaire above but longer and more detailed (e.g. FPI, MMPI, 16 PF)
  2. have a detailed conversation with you - about symptoms, development, course and their level of suffering (e.g. using the SKID).

From this he can deduce whether you meet the criteria for the personality disorder. There are two classification systems,

  • the DSM V (more common in America) and
  • the ICD-11 (more common in Europe).

Paranoid personality in the ICD-11

According to ICD-11 of the American Psychiatric Society (APA), at least four of the following characteristics or behaviors must be met:

  • Exaggerated sensitivity to rejection.
  • Inclination to hold grudges permanently, that is, subjectively experienced insults, injuries or disregard are not forgiven.
  • Suspicion and a persistent tendency to distort experience by misinterpreting neutral or friendly actions of others as hostile or contemptuous.
  • Disputability and persistent insistence on one's own rights that is inappropriate to the situation.
  • Frequent unjustified distrust of the sexual fidelity of the spouse or sexual partner.
  • Constant selfishness, especially when combined with excessive arrogance.
  • Frequent preoccupation with unfounded thoughts of conspiracies as explanations for events in the near or far area.

Paranoid personality in the DSM-V

According to the American Psychiatric Society's DSM-V (APA), the disorder must becontinuous or recurring be.

The symptoms are also allowednot attributed to a drug or medication and must be in a clinically meaningful mannerSuffer or cause impairments in social, professional or other important functional areas. Then at least 4 of the DSM V criteria must apply:

  • Suspects others, for no reasonable reason, of being taken advantage of, harmed, or deceived by them.
  • Is overwhelmed by unjustified doubts about the loyalty and trustworthiness of friends or partners.
  • Reluctantly confides in other people out of an unjustified fear that the information could be used maliciously against him / her.
  • Reads a hidden, derogatory or threatening meaning into harmless remarks or occurrences.
  • Is long resentful (i.e. does not forgive supposed insults, injuries or degradations).
  • Perceives attacks on oneself or one's reputation that are not seen as such and reacts quickly and angrily or starts a counterattack.
  • Repeatedly suspects the spouse or sexual partner of infidelity without any justification.

The 5+ best online articles

Welt.de:Donald Trump shows dangerous signs of paranoia and sadism over renowned American mental health experts who spot signs of paranoia in US President Donald Trump.

Stern.de: As much autonomy as possible, as little coercion as necessary about dealing with family members, hearing the voices in your head and how best to help them.

Wikipedia:Paranoia with an overview of symptoms and effects. Describes how patients develop paranoia and conspiracy theories.

Wissenschaft.de:The persecutor in your head about the feeling of being followed and watched.

Karrierebibel.de:Paranoid - According to the study, a trait of success for (slightly) paranoid traits in the world of work. Accordingly, the distorted perception can help to identify industrial espionage, false rumors and abuse of power at an early stage. On the negative side, however, there is also nepotism, slow decisions, poor communication and little promotion.

Time online: Racism, Conspiracies and Paranoia | Perpetrator from Hanau describes the mindset of the 43-year-old assassin from Hanau, who killed 9 people, his mother and himself in 2020. In the manifest that he leaves behind, he tells of a secret worldwide secret service that can read minds and control people remotely.

FAQ - Common questions about Paranoid Personality Disorder

What is it like to be paranoid?

Those affected are extremely sensitive to criticism, suspicious and often believe in conspiracies. The delusions range from extreme jealousy to political beliefs.

How do I know if I'm paranoid?

Are you particularly angry, extremely suspicious and jealous of criticism? These can be first characters. A self-test "Am I paranoid?" helps to get a first picture.

Can you cure paranoia?

Yes, around a third are free of symptoms forever after inpatient treatment with psychotherapy and medication. The rest of those affected continue to suffer from flare-ups or chronic disease. Early treatment is important because then the prognosis will improve.

What are paraonoid delusions?

65% of paranoids have delusions. They believe they are being followed and monitored or they hear voices. This is noticeable in everyday life or in relationships.