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Social Life in the Schizophrenia Spectrum: A Phenomenological Study of Five Patients

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  1. "Transition" to Schizophrenia or Fluctuations within the Same Disorder?

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  2. The Hoarding Phenomenon in Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders

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  3. Associations between Self-Disorders and First-Rank Symptoms: An Empirical Study

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  4. Arguments for a Phenomenologically Informed Clinical Approach to Autism Spectrum Disorder

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  5. Measuring Psychotic-Like Experiences in the General Population

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  1. "Transition" to Schizophrenia or Fluctuations within the Same Disorder?

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  2. The Paradox of Help-Seeking Behaviour in Psychosis

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  3. The Self and Its Prolonged Intrinsic Neural Timescale in Schizophrenia

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  4. Stability of admission diagnoses; data from a specialized in-patient treatment facility for dual diagnosis

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BACKGROUND: Social difficulties are a hallmark of schizophrenia spectrum conditions, yet their background and exact nature remain contested. Previous pivotal studies on chronically ill patients have suggested that a position of "positive withdrawal" is associated with a decreased tendency to rehospitalization. This concept designates an essentially withdrawn but not negatively experienced position balanced by elements relating the individual to the social world.

OBJECTIVES: To explore a less ill subgroup of schizophrenia spectrum patients' ways of navigating the social world and examine potential links to anomalous self-experiences by applying key insights from phenomenology and anthropology.

METHOD: The present study was part of a 5-year follow-up on a group of first-admission schizophrenia spectrum patients. From this sample of 48 patients, 5 were selected for qualitative evaluation following the principles of thematic analysis.

RESULTS: A "positively withdrawn" position characterizes a wider group of patients than originally reported. Further, we identified a preference for partaking in social activities in particular circumstances with clearly circumscribed goals or social roles and rules. This alleviated social discomfort and helped patients stay embedded in a social milieu. All patients experienced high levels of self-disorders.

CONCLUSIONS: We suggest that certain aspects of social impairment may, in fact, reflect meaningful compensatory mechanisms, and argue that this conceptualization of social difficulties is relevant to various psychotherapeutic interventions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychopathology
Volume52
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)232-239
Number of pages8
ISSN0254-4962
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019

    Research areas

  • Autism, Intersubjectivity, Phenomenological compensation, Positive withdrawal, Self-disorders

ID: 57757664