So, after trying to figure out what has been up with my boyfriend in the last couple of years I think I may have found an answer; he may have PPD – Paranoid Personality Disorder. Problem is, how do I show him this without getting blown up at or called crazy? (The blame usually gets turned around to me because it’s never their fault). We have known each other for 11 years and met online that long ago. He has never told me his last name, or the schools he went to or his parents names or the majority of his friends names (I only know a couple whom he doesn’t talk to anymore), I only found out last year what city he lives in and have only ever received one picture of him two years ago. He also ‘does not feel ready’ to come out and see me. I found a page on this disorder and it’s him in a nutshell. Even though I am emotionally exhausted and getting to the end of my rope with him, I at least want to point out an issue that will probably mess up his other encounters too if not treated. He also wants to go as in leave me, yet does not go and complains about the relationship a bunch. Here is a list off a site of some symptoms;

“People with PPD are always on guard, believing that others are constantly trying to demean, harm, or threaten them. These generally unfounded beliefs, as well as their habits of blame and distrust, might interfere with their ability to form close relationships. People with this disorder:

* Doubt the commitment, loyalty, or trustworthiness of others, believing others are using or deceiving them
* Are reluctant to confide in others or reveal personal information due to a fear that the information will be used against them
* Are unforgiving and hold grudges
* Are hypersensitive and take criticism poorly
* Read hidden meanings in the innocent remarks or casual looks of others
* Perceive attacks on their character that are not apparent to others; they generally react with anger and are quick to retaliate
* Have recurrent suspicions, without reason, that their spouses or lovers are being unfaithful
* Are generally cold and distant in their relationships with others, and might become controlling and jealous
* Cannot see their role in problems or conflicts, believing they are always right
* Have difficulty relaxing
* Are hostile, stubborn, and argumentative

His family has also been split up for over a year now, his dad having cheated on mom 3 times. The thing is, is that even when we were young and that was happening in his household, he never behaved like this to me. Could the rush of testosterone during puberty do it? It has been shown to promote anti social behavior and lack of empathy towards others. Who knows…

A. Unfortunately, there is no feasible way to know if your boyfriend has paranoid personality disorder (PDD). You’ve included a list of the symptoms as well as a description of the disorder but nothing you’ve written leads me to believe that he has PDD. This is not to say that he does not have it but I can’t tell if he does from your letter.

I also want to add that I find your relationship to be somewhat unusual. You wrote that you’ve known each other for 11 years but you don’t know his last name, the schools he attended, and other basic personal information. You practically know nothing about him. Additionally, it’s not clear in your letter but it seems as though you’ve never met in person. I’m not sure I understand how you could carry on this relationship for so long with a virtual stranger.

I would caution anyone from dating an individual who would withhold basic information about themselves. When it comes to the Internet, I can understand not sharing personal information in the first few days of interacting online. You’d want to get to know someone a little better before you’d share personal information with them. That I understand and I think it’s smart. According to your letter, however, you’ve known this individual for 11 years and you know very little about him. It’s odd that he has not provided you basic personal information but what’s even more peculiar is that you’ve stayed in this relationship for 11 years with a person you barely know and have never met.

I’d suggest before you continue this relationship you find out who this person is. What is his last name? Why will he not share basic information about himself with you after 11 years? It also would have been interesting to know how often you and he communicated or if the two of you have ever spoken on the phone. Do you know where he lives? Perhaps you’re dating a convicted felon who is contacting you from prison. Perhaps not but it is a possibility, unless you have evidence otherwise.

If he’s not willing to reveal basic information about himself at this point then it’s reasonable to conclude he never will. If that’s the case I think you need to reevaluate your relationship with this person and make it a point to only involve yourself with individuals willing to share more than just their first name.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 22 Jun 2009

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2009). How Do I Show My Boyfriend He Has Paranoid Personality Disorder?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/06/22/how-do-i-show-my-boyfriend-he-has-paranoid-personality-disorder/

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