Structure of self-schemas in patients with paranoia
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Negative self-schemas have been implicated in both paranoia and depression. There is a lack of research on the structural characteristics of self-schemas, even though these characteristics might be stable risk factors. The present study explored organization of positive and negative self-schemas in currently non-depressed individuals with persistent delusional disorder (PD), currently depressed individuals with persistent delusional disorder (PDD), and nonpsychiatric controls (NC). Self-schema consolidation was measured via the Psychological Distance Scaling Task. Within the interpersonal domain, negative selfschemas were more densely organized in PDD compared to both PD and NC. Both patient groups had less interconnected positive interpersonal schemas than controls. Within the achievement domain, PDD demonstrated less consolidated positive achievement schemas than NC and greater interconnectedness among negative adjectives than PD. Central limitation includes a small sample size. The findings point to an existence of at least two self-schema organizations in paranoid individuals.