Many famous persons have been odd or eccentric. Artists (e.g., Salvador Dali), writers (e.g., Tennessee Williams), musicians, film stars, and even politicians have exhibited some fairly eccentric behaviors. Can you think of examples of public figures who have displayed odd beliefs or actions recently? Would they fit the rest of the characteristics of the schizotypal personality?

Paranoid Personality Disorder

Whereas the schizotype is uncomfortable with others, the paranoid person is extremely distrustful of others and sees others as a constant threat. Such persons assume that others are out to exploit and deceive them, even though there is no good evidence to support this assumption. Paranoid persons feel that they have been injured by others and are preoccupied with doubts about the motivations of others.

People with this personality typically do not reveal personal information to others, fearing that the information will be used against them. Their reaction to others is "Mind your own business." The paranoid person often misinterprets social events. For example, someone makes an of f-hand comment and the paranoid interprets it as a demeaning or threatening remark (e.g., wondering, "What did he mean by that?"). Paranoids are constantly on the lookout for hidden meanings and disguised motivations in the comments and behaviors of others.

The person with a paranoid personality disorder often holds resentments toward others for slights or perceived insults. Such a person is reluctant to for give and forget even minor altercations. Paranoid persons often become involved in legal disputes, suing others for the slightest reasons. Sometimes paranoid persons plead with those in power to intervene on their behalf, such as writing to congresspersons or calling the local police chief day after day .

Pathological jealousy is a common manifestation of paranoid personality disorder. For example, a pathologically jealous woman suspects that her husband or partner is unfaithful, even though there is no objective evidence of infidelit . She may go to great lengths to find support for her jealous beliefs. She may restrict the activitie of her partner or constantly question him as to his whereabouts. She may not believe her partner's accounts of how he spent his time or believe his claims of faithfulness.

People with paranoid personality disorder are at risk of harming those who threaten their belief systems. Their argumentative and hostile natur e may provoke others to a combative response. This hostile response from others, in turn, validates the paranoids' original suspicion that others are out to get them. Their extreme suspiciousness and the unreasonableness of their beliefs make people with this disorder particularly difficult in social relations. able 19.7 presents the main characteristics of the paranoid personality disorder, along with some examples of beliefs and thoughts commonly found among persons with this disorder .

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