Anomalous Subjectivity in Severe Schizophrenia

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This work is a phenomenological account of how anomalous subjective experiences are understood in psychotic disorders, specifically in severe schizophrenia. Accounts integrating anomalous subjective experiences have just recently become central in empirical research in psychiatry, but they are still not regarded as having the same importance as the search for biological markers in schizophrenia. Thus, subjective experiences have been neglected by reductive approaches in the treatments and diagnostic processes of mental illnesses, so as to aim its substitution by purely neurobiological and neurophysiological accounts. These cannot grasp the entirety of the ill person’s experience of being in the world, thus getting in the way of a better diagnostic and clinical understanding of the condition. In this work I emphasize a holistic understanding of schizophrenic disorders, which takes into consideration the complexity in which a variety of anomalous experiences related to the self and the world, appear abnormal.

Phenomenological and naturalistic approaches on schizophrenic symptoms can be related in tandem inasmuch certain care is taken, and it is this conjunct framework that interests me. Severe schizophrenia can also be understood as a disorder of subjective anomalous experiences. Furthermore, psychotherapeutic interventions that might be adequate for such disorders should include an assessment of subjective experiences with a link to cognitive, mental, and physiological processes related to severe schizophrenia. Psychotherapeutic interventions with patients suffering from this disorder will not necessarily benefit from psychoanalytic approaches. Phenomenological psychological approaches, especially those that go beyond the mind/body dualism are much more adequate for the treatment of severed disorders such as schizophrenia, since such approaches understand the psychotherapeutic process as being founded on an ‘embodied’ framework: they integrate both bodily, as well