The defensive role of self - image in the course of schizophrenia
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Arch Psych Psych 2007;9(4):29–36
Aim: Prospective study on the self-image of persons suffering from schizophrenia. The observation of the changes in the self-portrait was made over 7 years from the time of first admission to the hospital. Subjects: 57 patients, who fulfilled the following criteria: (a) diagnosis of schizophrenia according to DSM-III criterium, (b) first admission to mental hospital, (c) living with procreational or generational family in Krakow. Methods: The Polish version of The Adjective Check List (ACL) of Gough and Heilbrun normalized by M. Matkowski was used. Results and conclusions: Prove that self-image is not only a dynamic and changing-with-time structure, but plays defensive roles towards the awareness of being mentally ill, as well as towards the feelings associated with this fact. The stronger the patient's tendency to deny the illness at the beginning, the more pessimistic their self-image is after the 7-year period. Conversely, acceptance of the illness and lack of defensiveness result in greater self-satisfaction and optimism in later life.