Abstract THE PURPOSE of this paper is to identify a specific type of reactive psychosis related in part to recent social-political events. It is well known that of the external stresses that trigger many psychotic reactions, the content of the clinical picture may be colored by or formed of political events of national or international import. Thus, delusional schizophrenics complained of Bolshevik persecution in the 1920's and interference by space figures in the 1960's. In the reactive psychosis particularly, a close relation exists between external stresses and the explicated clinical syndrome. It can be stated schematically that a reactive psychosis occurs when an external stress is strong enough to cause a rupture of the ego with resulting break with reality. These pressures, which may be obvious as in a prison situation, or unappreciated in their intensity, as in a mourning or References 1. Snell, J.E.: Hypnosis in the Treatment of the "Hexed" Patient , Amer J Psychiat 124:132 ( (Sept) ) 1967. 2. Herskovitz, M.: Life in a Haitian Valley , New York: A. A. Knopf, 1937. 3. Metroux, A.: Voodoo in Haiti , New York: Oxford University Press, 1959. 4. Kiev, A.: Spirit Possession in Haiti , Amer J Psychiat 118:133-138, 1961. 5. Mars, L.: quoted in Bijou, L.: Psychiatric Simplifiee , Port-au-Prince, Haiti, p 122, 1963. 6. Wilson, E.: Black, Red, White, Olive , New York: Oxford University Press, 1956.
Archives of General Psychiatry – American Medical Association
Published: Aug 1, 1968