Minimal Self Disorders in Schizophrenia

İbrahim AYLAK, Berna Diclenur ULUĞ
2022 33(3): 196-205
DOI: 10.5080/u26182
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In recent years we have witnessed a rebirth of interest in the field of
subjectivity and its disorders, particularly the severity and quality
of non-psychotic abnormal subjective experience. Contemporary
research on abnormal subjective experiences in schizophrenia has
used several different theoretical frameworks. The most common of
these is the phenomenological approach. A prominent example of the
phenomenological approach is the minimal self disorder model. In this
article, we will discuss, prominent theories on the concept of ‘self ’,
historical background of the minimal self disorder model in schizophrenia
and the current approach to this model. According to this model, self
disorders have been hypothesized to be an underlying and trait-like core
feature of schizophrenia. The model suggests that this minimal self is
disturbed in three ways in people with schizophrenia: hyperreflexivity,
diminished self-affection (diminished self-presence) and disturbed grip
or hold on the cognitive-perceptual world. Hyperreflexivity is defined as
the excessive attention to processes that would ordinarily be implicitly
experienced. Diminished self-affection (diminished self-presence) refers
to an experience of a loss of self-agency. Disturbed grip or hold on the
cognitive-perceptual world refers to the disturbances of spatio-temporal
structuring of the experiential field. These three aspects are intimately
interlinked, and should be understood more as the components of a
single entity. Finally, clinical symptoms that may indicate minimal
self disorder and the abnormal self experiences of two patients with a
diagnosis of schizophrenia are discussed.
Keywords: Schizophrenia, phenomenology, self-disorders,
hyperreflexivity, diminished self-affection