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.
©2010 The British Psychological Society.