The Prodromal Phase of What? : A Metapsychiatric Analysis of the Prodromal Phase of Schizophrenia

Sammanfattning: Prodromes of schizophrenia or prodromes of psychosis are a relatively new and expanding field of interest in psychiatric research. They are seen by some researchers as the initial symptom of having schizophrenia and have become a crucial topic in early psychosis research and intervention.In this thesis current psychiatric research publications were analysed and eleven prospectively psychotic patients were interviewed. The research publications analysed were applyed on the information given by the patients, and the analysis showed that it was easy to find prodromes or prodrome-like phenomena in all the collected interviews. In addition a second analysis was performed on the material, a phenomenological psychological analysis, showing a more subject-oriented dimension of the interviews. This led to a further aim, analysing what explanations could be given of these phenomena.There are probably many possibilities of getting the diagnosis of schizophrenia, but the examples in this study show that long-term abuse, often sexual actually can trigger psychiatric conditions corresponding to the definition of “prodromes of schizophrenia” according to some psychiatric publications as well as “schizophrenia” according to DSMand ICD. This means that trauma and/or neglect proved to be a likely partial causal condition of the prodrome- like phenomena or schizophrenia to occur.However, trauma has not been shown to be a necessary condition for the occurrence of prodrome-like phenomena or schizophrenia.In the discussion of the results some consequences deriving from using different interpretations and explanations of the phenomena are analysed, for example using the prodromes of psychosis for the assessments of a coming psychosis, especially schizophrenia. I emphasize, because of the results of the phenomenological case analyses, the value of several dimensions of understanding prodrome-like phenomena as well as schizophrenia and schizophrenia-like conditions, especially as early as the initial phase.