The ego has various functions, many of which are tested by a psychiatric examination. When the results disclose severe and widespread disturbance in ego functioning, the presence of psychosis is indicated. Diagnostically much emphasis has usually been placed on secondary symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions. Disturbances in the thinking process, when present, are very significant. Poor interpersonal relatedness and alteration of affect, including constriction, flatness, and inappropriateness, should be emphasized. However, there are additional disturbed ego functions, that are characteristic of psychosis. Amongst others, are the inability to abstract, the possession of a weak human body image,1 and poor reality testing. I have devised a test that probes these particular functions. This report presents the details of the test and significant results obtained in 550 youngsters between the ages of 6 and 16 years.
Various tests have been used to demonstrate
LEHMAN E. The Monster Test. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1960;3(5):535–544. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1960.01710050085009
Browse and subscribe to JAMA Network podcasts!
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: