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April 1962

Paradoxical Remission of Psychosis

Author Affiliations

Deputy Director, Mental Health Services, Los Angeles County.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1962;6(4):315-319. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1962.01710220057007

Introduction  Paradox is always beguiling. It is all the more so in the area of psychodynamic psychiatry, where such concepts as "unconscious ambivalence," "reversal into the opposite," and the "negative therapeutic reaction" are seen to be reflected in human behavior. This paper is intended to report an interesting clinical paradox observed by me in several patients. It is offered in the expectation that others have observed similar occurrences in other patients. A tentative hypothesis will be suggested as a possible explanation for the cases reported.

Scope of This Paper  The 3 patients to be reported in this paper demonstrated several characteristics in common. All suffered from severe psychotic illnesses designated as schizophrenic reactions. In each the illness was so severe that the patient needed to be hospitalized. In all 3 cases the initial treatment approach had been one of combined psychotherapy and somatic therapy. In each

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