A Language for Psychosis: Psychoanalysis of Psychotic States by Paul Williams

By Paul Williams

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Additional resources for A Language for Psychosis: Psychoanalysis of Psychotic States

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Journal of Psychoanalytic Psychology 6(3): 253–75. Grotstein JS (1990) The ‘black hole’ as the basic psychotic experience: some newer psychoanalytic and neuroscience perspectives on psychosis. Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis 18(1): 29–46. Grotstein J (1997) The impact of neurodevelopmental findings on the psychoanalytic conception of schizophrenia: Toward the concept of rehabilitative psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Paper presented at Building Bridges: The Psychotherapies and Psychosis.

I’m scared. I’m scared to hope. Whenever I feel I’m getting better, I’m avalanched with all these terrible reminders of my being a prisoner. It’s as if they let me leave only to tantalize and torment me by showing me that I’m stuck. Analyst: The ‘taxes’ you seem to have to pay have developed compound interest since you first sought refuge in leaving yourself for a dissociated state of mind in order to protect yourself. When you seek to leave, you are reminded of the price you feel you had to pay in order to be safe.

When I first saw her I formulated the diagnosis of a schizotypal personality (DSM IV, Axis II) with a proclivity to decompensation into psychosis (Axis I). The family history strongly suggests that her mother suffered from Asperger’s disorder with a propensity toward a schizotypal disorder as well, and that her father may have suffered from a mild form of bipolar illness. One of the most important revelations from her past history was told to her by her father. Her mother attempted to breast-feed her over many weeks, but the patient lost weight without her mother becoming aware of the fact.

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