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Laforgue, R. (1927). Scotomization in Schizophrenia. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 8:473-478.

(1927). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 8:473-478

Scotomization in Schizophrenia

René Laforgue

In an earlier work I have defined scotomization (or the forming of mental 'blind spots') as a process of psychic depreciation, by means of which the individual attempts to deny everything which conflicts with his ego. I endeavoured to differentiate the process of scotomization from that of repression and I showed that, in the former, repression fails and that, contrary to what happens in normal repression, the mind in spite of outward appearances is really simply trying to evade a situation in which it has to endure frustration and which it apprehends as a castration. In this it has recourse mainly to narcissistic equivalents for its instinctual gratification and thus achieves, in greater or less degree according to the individual case, the exact opposite of the frustration which it ostensibly intended to undergo. In my paper I did not attempt to portray the result of this unsuccessful repression, but rather to describe the constitutional factors which condition the failure and give grounds for the supposition that unsuccessful repression implies a different process from that of successful repression. And further, that scotomization must be differentiated from repression in general, although in actual fact we find the two in practice contributing to a common result.

In the present paper I shall return to these ideas only in so far as they are necessary to the problem before us. I intend in this brief theoretical discussion simply to raise certain questions, for I do not think the time is yet ripe for solving the problem, nor do I think that I can contribute anything fundamentally new to its solution. On the other hand we must admit that schizophrenia still presents itself only too often as a field whose margin only has been touched by our investigations, so that from time to time we feel it imperative to penetrate into this primeval forest and these desert-tracts of the human soul. When we speak of schizophrenia we mean, of course, that group of diseases which Bleuler and Jung comprised under this title, and we do not mean to commit ourselves in advance to the conception of a 'process-psychosis'.

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