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Schizophr Bull. 2018 Jun 6;44(4):720-727. doi: 10.1093/schbul/sby001.

Varieties of Self Disorder: A Bio-Pheno-Social Model of Schizophrenia.

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Department of Clinical Psychology, GSAPP-Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ.
Faculty of Medicine, CorporaciĆ³n Universitaria Empresarial Alexander von Humboldt, Armenia, Colombia.
Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal.
Department of Psychology, University of Hartford, CT.
Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, Parkville, Australia.
Centre for Youth Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.


The self-disorder model offers a unifying way of conceptualizing schizophrenia's highly diverse symptoms (positive, negative, disorganized), of capturing their distinctive bizarreness, and of conceiving their longitudinal development. These symptoms are viewed as differing manifestations of an underlying disorder of ipseity or core-self: hyper-reflexivity/diminished-self-presence with accompanying disturbances of "grip" or "hold" on reality. Recent revision to this phenomenological theory, in particular distinguishing primary-vs-secondary factors, offers a bio-pheno-social model that is consistent with recent empirical findings and offers several advantages: (1) It helps account for the temporal variations of the symptoms or syndrome, including longitudinal progression, but also the shorter-term, situationally reactive, and sometimes defensive or quasi-intentional variability of symptom-expression that can occur in schizophrenia (consistent with understanding some aspects of ipseity-disturbance as dynamic and mutable, involving shifting attitudes or experiential orientations). (2) It accommodates the overlapping of some key schizophrenic symptoms with certain nonschizophrenic conditions involving dissociation (depersonalization, derealization), including depersonalization disorder and panic disorder, thereby acknowledging both shared and distinguishing symptoms. (3) It integrates recent neurocognitive and neurobiological as well as psychosocial (eg, influence of trauma and culture) findings into a coherent but multi-factorial neuropsychological account. An adequate model of schizophrenia will postulate shared disturbances of core-self experiences that nevertheless can follow several distinct pathways and occur in various forms. Such a model is preferable to uni-dimensional alternatives-whether of schizophrenia or ipseity-disturbance-given its ability to account for distinctive yet varying experiential and neurocognitive abnormalities found in research on schizophrenia, and to integrate these with recent psychosocial and neurobiological findings.

[Available on 2019-06-01]
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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