Send to

Choose Destination
Psychiatry Res. 2011 Apr 30;186(2-3):197-202. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2010.08.036. Epub 2010 Oct 6.

When paranoia fails to enhance self-esteem: explicit and implicit self-esteem and its discrepancy in patients with persecutory delusions compared to depressed and healthy controls.

Author information

Section for Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Gutenbergstraße 18, 35032 Marburg, Germany.


The hypothesis that persecutory delusions function to enhance self-esteem implies that patients will show normal explicit, but low implicit self-esteem. As evidence for this has been inconsistent, our study assessed delusional state, explicit and implicit self-esteem and depression in a large sample (n=139) of schizophrenia patients with acute persecutory delusions (n=28), patients with remitted persecutory delusions (n=31), healthy controls (n=59), and depressed controls (n=21). Patients with delusions and patients with depression both showed decreased levels of explicit, but normal levels of implicit self-esteem when compared to healthy controls. The direct comparison of levels of explicit and implicit self-esteem within each group revealed that healthy controls had higher explicit than implicit self-esteem, while the converse pattern was found for depressed controls. No discrepancy between explicit and implicit self-esteem was found for acute deluded or remitted patients with schizophrenia. Although these findings do not support the hypothesis that delusions serve to enhance self-esteem, they underline the relevance of low self-esteem in patients with persecutory delusions and point to the necessity of enhancing self-esteem in therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center