Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Psychopathology. 2003 Jan-Feb;36(1):6-12.

Old wine in new bottles? Stability and plasticity of the contents of schizophrenic delusions.

Author information

University Hospital for Psychiatry Vienna, Vienna, Austria.


A number of recent case reports published during the last 20 years described a quick inclusion of new technologies and cultural innovations into schizophrenic delusions which led many of the authors to the conclusion that the 'Zeitgeist' is creating new delusional contents. On the other hand, long-term comparisons and comparative transcultural studies on delusions showed, despite a certain degree of variability, a stability of delusional themes over longer periods of time. Combining anthropological and historical theories of the development of societies with a differentiated psychopathological approach (Klosterk├Âtter's three-stage model of the formation of schizophrenic delusions), we were able to resolve the problem of the ostensibly divergent results: there are only a few themes of extraordinary anthropological importance for the organization of human relationships which can be found in every epoch and in different cultures (persecution, grandiosity, guilt, religion, hypochondria, jealousy, and love). With the exception of persecution and grandiosity, these themes showed a certain variability over time and between cultures. The 'new' themes, referring to the development of modern technology and the rapid changes of 'cultural patterns' turned out to be only the shaping of the basic delusional themes on the 3rd stage of Klosterk├Âtter's phase model (concretization).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons


    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for S. Karger AG, Basel, Switzerland
    Loading ...
    Support Center