Teen Paranoid Personality Disorder is a mental illness characterized by teens having a high level of paranoia, including general mistrust and fear that others are in conspiracy against them. Teens struggle with fearing and mistrusting others to an extreme degree, including believing that others are being insincere, that they are lying, and that they’re plotting against them. This causes teens to experience difficulty creating and maintaining relationships, often prevents proper functioning, and can result in dangerous behaviors.
This overwhelming paranoia that teens with this personality disorder experience can lead to a number of different problems, in multiple areas of the teens’ lives. Depending on the case, sometimes teens will have equal levels of mistrust toward most other people. In other cases, teens might have higher levels of paranoia directed specifically toward one person, such as a parent or friend. In this type of situation, the teen will often carryout extreme behaviors toward that person, because they are afraid and behaving defensively.
In a more general context, some of the other symptoms of Teen Paranoia Personality Disorder include: regular anxiety and/or agitation; tendency to withdraw from others; misinterpretation of others’ words and behavior; tendency to be defensive and argumentative; tendency to not believe others and/or always assume hidden agendas are at work.
There are five subtypes of Teen Paranoid Personality Disorder, which are categorized by symptoms. They include: Fanatic Paranoids (characterized by teens being narcissistic, in efforts to overcompensate); Insular Paranoids (characterized by teens’ paranoia causing them to withdraw from others); Querulous Paranoids (characterized by negativity and moodiness); Malignant Paranoids (characterized by a hostile demeanor and teens feeling revengeful toward others); and Obdurate Paranoids (characterized by teens being stubborn and confident, in both attitude and action.)
It’s important to understand that for teens with Paranoid Personality Disorder, the idea of treatment can be an extremely scary, threatening concept. Because teens’ tendencies are to mistrust others in general, it’s difficult for teens to feel safe and comfortable, especially in a treatment setting. Because of this, we’re especially careful with the beginning of the teen paranoid personality disorder treatment process, and move at a pace and manner that allows teens to feel safe. In some cases, medication can be helpful to alleviate some of the anxiety teens have, which may make them more able and willing to engage in the therapy process.
With this said, Teen Paranoid Personality Disorder Treatment most often involves a combination of talk therapy and behavioral therapy. Therapists work with teens to help them to observe and recognize the belief systems that are in place and how those beliefs affect their behaviors. By beginning to first observe the connections between belief and behavior, teens can engage in practicing new way to deal with stress when it arises. Over time, therapists will then work with teens to help them recognize the falsity of their fears and paranoia, and begin drawing distinctions between fact and fiction. In group therapy sessions, therapists help teens and others to practice communicating and listening in a safe environment and manner.
Paradigm New York:
Paradigm New York is a residential teen treatment center, located in New York, just outside of Manhattan. Paradigm New York provides treatment for a wide range of mental health and substance abuse disorders, including personality disorders, such as Teen Paranoid Personality Disorder. The teens that we serve at Paradigm New York come locally from New York and beyond, and usually stay with us for between 4-6 weeks, while in treatment.