Christopher Bollas

Christopher Bollas on the Enigma of Schizophrenia

Christopher Bollas is a member of the British Psychoanalytical Society, the Los Angeles Institute and Society for Psychoanalytic Studies, and Honorary Member of the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research. He is a member of ESGUT, the European Study Group of Unconscious Thought.

Fascinating interview with Christopher Bollas on schizophrenia in which he talks about over-medicating in the United States, the aetiology of schizophrenia, and why it’s so common in urban metropolitan areas:

  • “mental life is itself precarious”
  • “people who have schizophrenic experiences are vulnerable to those changes [of latency, childhood, adolescence] and it’s very important to get them back into time and space. When you have a psychotic moment … you start to feel like you don’t exist anymore.  Like you’re not in your body anymore.”
  • “We’re overmedicating in the United States and we have been for a long time. Not just in the field of mental health, but in ordinary medicine itself.  Because it’s ‘cost-effective’. It’s meant to be the cheap way.”
  • “Are we medicating them to make us feel better?”
  • On the importance of people talking to other people: “The isolation’s terrible. Be patient: talk to them, keep talking to them, because you want them to get back into the understanding of themselves.”
  • “The rate of schizophrenia is two and a half times higher in urban metropolitan areas than it is in rural areas. So, it ain’t genetic.”

Christopher Bollas is the author of The Freudian Moment, The Infinite Question, Hysteria, Catch Them Before They Fall, and Forces of Destiny: Psychoanalysis and the Human Idiom.  His latest book, When the Sun Bursts: The Enigma of Schizophrenia, has just been published.

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