Clinical presentation and early care relationships in 'poor-me' and 'bad-me' paranoia

Br J Clin Psychol. 2011 Jun;50(2):211-6. doi: 10.1348/014466510X525498. Epub 2011 Mar 2.


OBJECTIVE. To test the proposal that 'poor-me' (PM) and 'bad-me' (BM) paranoia can be differentiated in terms of (1) current emotional experience and presence of grandiose delusions and (2) early caregiving and threats to self-construction. METHOD. Participants experiencing persecutory delusions were separated into PM (N= 21) and BM (N= 15) groups on the basis of perceived deservedness of the persecution. The groups were compared on measures examining grandiose delusions, shame and depression, parental care, and threats of alienation and insecurity. RESULTS. As predicted, BM patients scored higher on shame and depression, and lower on grandiose delusions, than PM patients. BM patients reported higher levels of parental overprotection, but PM patients were not characterized by neglect, and the groups did not differ in type of threat to self-construction. Conclusion. The two paranoia types were differentiated on symptomatic and emotional presentation, but predicted differences in early relationships and self-construction were not fully supported.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Culture
  • Defense Mechanisms
  • Delusions / diagnosis
  • Delusions / psychology
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Guilt
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control*
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Object Attachment
  • Paranoid Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Paranoid Disorders / psychology*
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Personality Assessment
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychotic Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology*
  • Schizophrenia, Paranoid / diagnosis*
  • Schizophrenia, Paranoid / psychology*
  • Self Concept*
  • Shame
  • Social Alienation
  • Young Adult