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September 1960

An Approach to the Nature of Auditory Hallucinations in Schizophrenia

Author Affiliations

Brookline, Mass.
From the Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1960;3(3):259-266. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1960.01710030045006

Although the symptom of auditory hallucinations is variegated, it is assumed that there are common characteristics to its form and structure, which if understood would considerably enrich our knowledge of the psychopathology of schizophrenia. With this view in mind, I wish to summarize and discuss an intensive and systematic phenomenological investigation of auditory hallucinations. This study has been presented elsewhere in more detail from the point of view of its implications for psychoanalytic theory.9 Here observations that might help to clarify the meaning of hallucinations as a symptom of schizophrenia are described.

There is a parallelism between the psychoanalytic concept of hallucinations in schizophrenia as formulated by Freud3 and the viewpoint of clinical psychiatry as expressed chiefly by Bleuler.2 Both of these men viewed auditory hallucinations as a secondary symptom, that is, a symptom that resulted from and as a

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