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December 1957

Benign Schizophrenia

Author Affiliations

New York

From the Department of Psychiatry, the Mount Sinai Hospital.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1957;78(6):605-611. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1957.02330420065014

I wish to present a concept of benign schizophrenia as a dynamic mechanism of psychological defense. Bleuler6 said (1922): "The term schizoid designates a type of mental nature and reaction which is more or less present in everybody, and in its morbid exaggeration constitutes schizophrenia." Schizophrenia, even in advanced cases, is a changing process that can move in either direction. Few cases show complete involvement of the ego; most have facets of the ego that are adequate despite the presence of schizophrenic defects.

Recent data on drug psychosis with lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD-25) (Hoch,14 1956) are significant. Upon receiving this drug, normal persons develop psychotic syndromes indistiguishable from schizophrenia; this suggests that a propensity for schizophrenia is present in everyone. Administered to persons with mild or moderate schizophrenia, LSD-25 aggravates the psychosis. Moreover, the concurrence of organic psychosis and some qualities of schizophrenia is well known in alcoholic