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Self-disturbances in schizophrenia: history, phenomenology, and relevant findings from research on metacognition

Self-disturbances in schizophrenia: history, phenomenology, and relevant findings from research on metacognition

Schizophrenia Bulletin 40(1): 5

With a tradition of examining self-disturbances (Ichstörungen) in schizophrenia, phenomenological psychiatry studies the person's subjective experience without imposing theoretical agenda on what is reported. Although this tradition offers promising interface with current neurobiological models of schizophrenia, both the concept of Ichstörung and its history are not well understood. In this article, we discuss the meaning of Ichstörung, the role it played in the development of the concept of schizophrenia, and recent research on metacognition that allows for the quantitative study of the link between self-disturbance and outcome in schizophrenia. Phenomenological psychiatrists such as Blankenburg, Binswanger, and Conrad interpreted the Ichstörung as disturbed relationship to self and others, thus challenging recent efforts to interpret self-disturbance as diminished pure passive self-affection, which putatively "explains" schizophrenia and its various symptoms. Narrative is a reflective, embodied process, which requires a dynamic shifting of perspectives which, when compromised, may reflect disrupted binding of the components of self-experience. The Metacognition Assessment Scale-abbreviated as MAS-A-suggests that persons with schizophrenia tend to produce narratives with reductions in the binding processes required to produce an integrated, embodied self within narrated life stories, and in interactive relationships with others.

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Accession: 055702444

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PMID: 24319117

DOI: 10.1093/schbul/sbt169

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