Bad me paranoia in early psychosis: A relatively rare phenomenon


Correspondence should be addressed to Miriam Fornells-Ambrojo, Department of Psychology, Henry Wellcome Building, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK (e-mail:


Purpose. The aim of this study was to follow up Trower and Chadwick's (1995) proposal that there are two types of paranoia: poor me paranoia, in which the persecution is believed to be undeserved, and bad me paranoia, in which the persecution is seen as a deserved punishment.

Method. A cross-sectional design was used. A group of 40 participants with early psychosis, who were experiencing persecutory delusions, were assessed using a semi-structured interview on the content of their beliefs.

Results. An extremely low rate of bad me paranoia was found in the sample of participants with early psychosis.

Conclusions. People with persecutory delusions who are in the initial stages of their illness do not tend to believe that they are being justifiably punished. Stigma and depression are put forward as tentative explanations of the development of this evaluative belief with time.