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Giovacchini, P.L. (1983). The Persistent Psychosis—Schizophrenia. Psychoanal. Inq., 3(1):9-36.

(1983). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 3(1):9-36

The Persistent Psychosis—Schizophrenia Related Papers

Peter L. Giovacchini, M.D.

Since antiquity, man has been fascinated by insanity. This fascination is as intense today as it was hundreds of years ago. Insanity still engenders confusion and bewilderment. Schizophrenic patients, who fill a substantial number of our hospital beds, are still very much a mystery. Investigators have approached this clinical phenomenon from many different perspectives. Unfortunately, varied approaches and theories, instead of resulting in mutual cooperation and support, have often brought only useless controversy.

The young student of clinical psychiatry is usually confronted with schizophrenic patients at the beginning of his training. He is faced, sometimes abruptly, with a human mass of irrationality. I remember my own confusion as a medical student and resident, a confusion that persists today although it has been considerably modified throughout the decades. When I asked, “What is schizophrenia?” the answers I received, either from instructors or from reading, did not explain the illness.

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