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Salonen, S. (1979). On the Metapsychology of Schizophrenia. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 60:73-81.

(1979). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 60:73-81

On the Metapsychology of Schizophrenia

Simo Salonen

SUMMARY

The author's point of departure is schizophrenic fragmentation, which has been considered here from a drive-economic and structural point of view, starting from Freud's prestructural conceptions and Jacobson's metapsychological formulations. The view is arrived at in the essay that the central psychological mechanism in the schizophrenic disorder is a drive-energetic decathexis of the basic psychic tissue, or the primal representative matrix, which has far-reaching consequences within the entire psychic organization.

The basic psychic tissue corresponds to that area of inner reality which, according to Freud, remains beyond the primal repression and is made up of the first representations of the instinctual drive. The entire psychic organization has then been woven out of this representational tissue, binding drive energies in a preliminary way.

According to the view put forward here, schizophrenic fragmentation does not primarily represent a disintegration of the psychic macrostructures or a consequence of the ego's resorting to primitive defences but is a consequence of a drive-energetic crisis at the level of the basic psychic tissue. The disorder manifests itself as the disappearance of inner liveliness and as a diffuse dissociation of the entire representational world, which I have characterized as the disappearance of psychic transparence. Its influences naturally also extend to the realm of the more advanced psychic functions and macrostructures and will invalidate in a radical way the person's drive economy.

Reference is made in the article to the possibility that the central task of the primal representative matrix may be the creation of lively connexions and a striving for synthesis throughout the entire psychic organization and that the schizophrenic disorder may be intimately related to the decathexis of this function.

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