Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To save articles in ePub format for your eBook reader…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

To save an article in ePub format, look for the ePub reader icon above all articles for logged in users, and click it to quickly save the article, which is automatically downloaded to your computer or device. (There may be times when due to font sizes and other original formatting, the page may overflow onto a second page.).

You can also easily save to PDF format, a journal like printed format.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Katan, M. (1950). Structural Aspects of a Case of Schizophrenia. Psychoanal. St. Child, 5:175-211.

(1950). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 5:175-211

Structural Aspects of a Case of Schizophrenia

M. Katan, M.D.


The study of the case of H. is the first publication of a number of investigations of schizophrenia, in all of which I arrive at the conclusion that schizophrenia is not preceded by an infantile psychotic state; that in this respect a psychosis differs radically from a neurosis, for which there is always an infantile basis.

In almost all cases of schizophrenia a distinction can be made between a prepsychotic period and the psychosis proper. The study of the relationship between the prepsychotic and the psychotic symptoms enables us to gain insight into the structure of the delusion and its related phenomena.

Many times the beginning of the prepsychotic phase is marked sharply, as when symptoms appear which show that important parts of the personality have disappeared. Notwithstanding this disappearance, contact with reality is still maintained. The prepsychotic period is characterized not only by "dropping out" phenomena but also by mechanisms that try to ward off the danger of losing contact with reality; sometimes even attempts at recovery are made by remnants of the personality.

There are other cases of schizophrenia where the beginning of the prepsychotic period is less sharply marked and where symptoms seem to develop as an exacerbation of a situation already long in existence. In these cases it is not certain whether these exacerbations differ only quantitatively from the preceding state or whether a qualitative change has also taken place.

In addition, there are a number of borderline cases which show symptoms of a prepsychotic nature but which never develop into a real psychosis, for the patients still succeed in maintaining contact with reality. We know that puberty now and then takes a course which strongly resembles prepsychotic development; fortunately, however, such puberal development frequently takes a turn for the better.

The psychosis proper starts when contact with reality has been abandoned.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.