Schizophrenia: Medical Enigma

Archive Report

New Views on Continuing Puzzle

A new view of schizophrenia has entered the crowded chamber of theories, hypotheses, speculations, and fragments of partial evidence from scientific research on this most enigmatic of all the afflictions that beset the mind. This view holds that the schizophrenic experience, however distressing, may be a therapeutic episode in the life of the troubled individual if allowed to run its course. Proponents of this view, whose leading figure is the British psychiatrist Ronald D. Laing, would throw out much of what is now being applied as therapy to schizophrenic patients today.

Instead they would offer the schizophrenic a shelter where he could act out his psychosis without restraint in the company of sympathetic friends and fellow-sufferers. The latter would accept his ...

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