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Schizophrenia as a Human Process

Schizophrenia as a Human Process The patient with schizophrenia often appears to be living in an alien world, one of strange voices, bizarre beliefs, and disorganized speech and behavior. It is difficult to empathize with someone suffering from symptoms so remote from one's ordinary experience. However, examination of the disorder reveals not only symptoms of the psychosis itself but also an intensely human struggle against the disintegration of personality it can produce. Furthermore, examination of the individual's attempts to cope with a devastating psychotic process reveals familiar psychodynamic processes and defense mechanisms, however unsuccessful they may be. Knowing that behind the seemingly alien diagnostic features of schizophrenia is a person attempting to preserve his or her self-identity puts a human face on the illness. This article utilizes clinical material to describe some of the psychodynamic processes of schizophrenia. Its purpose is to facilitate understanding of an illness that requires comprehensive biopsychosocial treatment in which a therapeutic doctor–patient relationship is as necessary as antipsychotic medication. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis & Dynamic Psychiatry Guilford Press

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Publisher
Guilford Press
Copyright
© 2011 The American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry
ISSN
1546-0371
DOI
10.1521/jaap.2011.39.4.717
pmid
22168633
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The patient with schizophrenia often appears to be living in an alien world, one of strange voices, bizarre beliefs, and disorganized speech and behavior. It is difficult to empathize with someone suffering from symptoms so remote from one's ordinary experience. However, examination of the disorder reveals not only symptoms of the psychosis itself but also an intensely human struggle against the disintegration of personality it can produce. Furthermore, examination of the individual's attempts to cope with a devastating psychotic process reveals familiar psychodynamic processes and defense mechanisms, however unsuccessful they may be. Knowing that behind the seemingly alien diagnostic features of schizophrenia is a person attempting to preserve his or her self-identity puts a human face on the illness. This article utilizes clinical material to describe some of the psychodynamic processes of schizophrenia. Its purpose is to facilitate understanding of an illness that requires comprehensive biopsychosocial treatment in which a therapeutic doctor–patient relationship is as necessary as antipsychotic medication.

Journal

Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis & Dynamic PsychiatryGuilford Press

Published: Dec 1, 2011

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