Some tid-bits from C.G. Jung on Psychological Types/Attitudes: Abaissement Dissociation Personality. The below description describes the make up of Personality Disorders, in particular, Multiple Personality Disorder. The information below also helps differentiate between dissociation personality and schizophrenia.
Abaissement Dissociation Personality
Abaissement: explains a psychical condition in which a train of thought isn’t carried through to any physical end or where it’s interrupted by strange contents insufficiently inhabited. If you were to study the association tests of neurotics you’ll find that the normal associates are disturbed by the spontaneous inference of complex contents typical of abaissement. The dissociation can even go so far as the creation of one or of severely, secondary personalities with an apparent complete segregation of consciousness. But the mental difference in schizophrenia consists in the maintenance of the potential unity of the personality.
In a schizophrenic patient the connection between the ego and certain complexes is lost. The split isn’t relative, it’s absolute. A hysterical patient might suffer form a sort of persecution mania very similar to a real paranoid, but the difference is that in the case of hysteria one can bring the delusion back under the control of consciousness, where as it is impossible to do this in paranoia. A neurosis is characterized by a relative autonomy of its complexes, but in schizophrenia the complexes have become disjointed and autonomous fragments, which either doesn’t reintegrate to the psychical totality or, in a case of remission, an unexpectedly jointed together, as if nothing has happened before. The dissociation in schizophrenia isn’t only far more serious but very often it’s also irreversible. The dissociation is no longer liquid and changeable as it is in a neurosis, but is more like a mirror broken up into splinters. The unity of personality which lends a humanity understandable character to its own secondary personalities in a case of hysteria is severed into fragments.
In a hysterical multiple personality there’s an almost smooth, even a tactful, cooperation between the different person’s who neatly keep their role, and don’t bother each other. One feels a center manager who arranges the stage for the different figures who arranges the stage for the different figures in an almost rational way, often in the form of sentimental drama. Each figure has a suggestive name and an admissible character, and they are just as hysterical and as sentimentally biased as the patient consciousness.
Personality dissociation in schizophrenia is different than one with a personality disorder. The split-off figures assume banal, grotesque, or highly exaggerated names and characters and are often objectionable in many ways. They don’t cooperate with the patient’s consciousness. They aren’t tactful and have no respect for sentimental values. They break into consciousness and make a disturbance at any time, they torture the ego in many ways; all and sundry are object able and shocking either in their noisy and impertinent behavior or in their grotesque cruelty and obscenity. There is an apparent chaos of inconsistent visions, voices, and characters of an overwhelmingly strange and incomprehensible nature. If there’s a drama at all, it’s beyond the patients understanding.
A hysterical dissociate is bridged over by a unity of the personality, which still functions, while in schizophrenia the very foundations of their personality are injured.
The abaissment causes:
- A loss of whole regions of normally controlled contents.
- Produces split-off fragments of the personality.
- Hinders the normal train of thought from being consistently carried through and completed.
- It decreases the responsibility and the adequate reaction of the ego.
- It causes incomplete realizations and thus produces insufficient and inadequate emotional reactions.
- It lowers the threshold of consciousness and allows normally inhabited contents of the unconscious mind to enter consciousness in the form of autonomous intrusions.
We meet all these abaissements in neuroses as well as in schizophrenia, but in neurosis the unity of personality is at least potentially preserved where as in schizophrenia it is more or less damaged. On account of this fundamental injury the cleavage between dissociated psychical elements amounts to a real destruction of their former connections.
Any abaissement, particularly one that leads to neurosis, meaning there’s a weakening of supreme control. A neurosis is a relative dissociation, a conflict between the ego and a resistant forced based upon conscious contents. Those contents are relatively severed upon the unconscious contents. Those contents are relatively severed from the connection with the psychical totality. They form parts and the loss of them means an exponentiation of the conscious personality. The intense conflict on the other side, expressed an equally acute desire to re-establish the severed connection. There’s no cooperation, but there’s at least violent conflict which functions instead of a positive connection. When a neurotic patient steps across the line and becomes psychotic we call it latent psychosis. In such cases the patient, for many years, fought for the maintenance of his ego, for the supremacy of his control and for the unity of his personality, but he finally gave in to the invader. He’s now drowning and a flood of insurmountably strong forces and thought forms which are beyond normal emotions. These unconscious forces and contents existed long ago and he’s wrestled with them successfully for years. These contents aren’t confined to one person alone, but exist in other people’s conscious as well who, however, are fortunate to be ignorant of them. These forces didn’t originate out of nowhere. They are normal constituents of our unconscious minds. They appeared in numberless dreams, in the same on similar forms, at a time when seemingly nothing was wrong. They even appear in dreams of so-called normal people who never get near a psychosis, but if such a normal individual should suddenly go a dangerous abaissement, his dreams would instantly seize him and make him think, feel, and act like a lunatic.
Latent psychosis: is nothing but the possibility that an individual may become mentally deranged at some point of his life.
Schizophrenia doesn’t behave in anyway different from a merely psychological disorder. Multiple personality disorders, or certain religious or “mystical” phenomena, can’t compare to what happens in schizophrenia.
The primary symptoms have no analogy with any kind of functional disturbance, yet dreams produce similar pictures of great catastrophes. They can show all stages of personal disintegration, so it’s no exaggeration when we say that the dreamer is normally insane, or that insanity is a dream which has replaced normal consciousness. The phenomenology or the dream and of schizophrenia are almost identical with certain differences, for one state occurs normally under the condition of sleep, while the other upsets the waking or conscious state. Sleep is also an abaissement which leads into a mirror, or less complete oblivion of the ego. The psychological mechanism, which is destined to bring about the normal extinction and disintegration of consciousness, is a normal function which almost obeys our will.