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(1926). Paranoia from the Subjective Point of View. Psychoanal. Rev., 13(2):200-209.

(1926). Psychoanalytic Review, 13(2):200-209

Paranoia from the Subjective Point of View

As understood by the writer paranoia from the objective point of view is supposed to be founded on a personal emotional, perhaps unconscious conflict or difficulty, which the patient does not wish to admit or recognize and because of which he projects the cause of his difficulties on someone outside of himself. It is not cured by reasoning and is not a question of the intellectual process so much as it is one of the emotions, which influence and determine the formation of the delusional ideas. And a delusional idea is a mistaken idea that is not founded on fact, and that is not corrected by evidence and cannot be corrected by reasoning or argument.

The subjective point of view accepts the phenomenon of mind as Dr. William A. White presents it: as “not divided into compartments—but as a complex of adaptive mechanisms interrelated with one another in the most intricate manner.” It considers the intellectual process and the emotions so closely interrelated that the one cannot exist without the other—each as a part of the whole, and the intellectual process present whether the ideas are formulated or not. It considers a delusional idea a mistaken idea that has developed under the influence of other mistaken ideas and for this reason seems to be not founded on fact though actually it is founded on fact—on fact seen in the light of earlier mistaken ideas; and though it cannot be corrected directly either by evidence or by reasoning or argument because of these ideas, the individual himself can correct it by a realignment of his ideas if he can discover or be helped to discover the original mistaken idea out of which, one after the other, each influenced by those preceding, the later mistaken ideas have developed. From the subjective point of view paranoia is considered the result of overwhelming social disapproval of the individual's reaction to a mistaken idea or delusion or delusional system that he remains still unable to correct. In an effort to present this point of view the following incidents are recorded and will be referred to by number.

(1) A woman of middle age sought relief from an unaccountable aversion to cats, which she had suffered from a time as far back as she could remember.

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