Psychosis and identity: alteration or loss?

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The onset of psychotic disorders often brings major changes to an individual which, for some, are never fully reversed and remain a dominant force. Despite such changes, the individual still experiences themselves as a continuous person and must find some way to assimilate these shifts into their self-concept. From a philosophical perspective, the various models of continuing identity all depend upon some notion of fundamental stability, which seems a poor fit for the trajectory associated with psychotic disorders. This article will explore, in more depth, how the transitions which accompany psychotic disorders present a challenge to conventional and philosophical notions of selfhood. If we are not simply to judge psychotic disorders as bringing about a loss of selfhood, we will need an alternative model of identity to use in this context.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 4 Apr 2017


  • Psychosis; psychotic disorders; schizophrenia; self; identity; personal identity; personhood


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