Schreber’s Psychosis Revisited: A Look Into the Function of Passion in the Emergence of Psychosis


The portrait of Schreber that emerges in this work is an analysis of a good man who was left in a subverted state by psychosis. This portrait is not unlike Freud’s Schreber, Lacan’s Schreber, and is certainly Schreber’s Schreber. Nevertheless, the understanding of Schreber’s mental hell comes out very different in this work and is affected here by the central use of a particular aspect of passion. The understanding of passion, as a phenomenon that is experienced as ‘truth’ is the heart of this work. It is relevant to this work that the author’s philosophical position entails a view of Wittgenstein’s constructs, ‘language games’ and ‘seeing as,’ as a testament to a symbolic structure prevailing in the world. (The author regards them as two symbolic sub-structures with universal extension that can, inter alia, cope with the mind-body problem.) For in the framework of the present work the ‘personality’ is consequently rendered as a ‘point of view’ and this point of view is a battleground between common sense and the uncommon sense of passion. In substance, Schreber’s unique instance of passion and its role in the outbreak of his psychosis is examined here.

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European Journal of Psychoanalysis