Atmosphere: On the Phenomenology of "atmospheric" Alterations in Schizophrenia - Overall Sense of Reality, Familiarity, Vitality, Meaning, or Relevance (Ancillary Article to EAWE Domain 5)

Louis Sass, Matthew Ratcliffe

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

"Atmospheric" alterations are key aspects of altered subjectivity in mental disorder. Karl Jaspers famously described the "delusional mood": a sense of uncanny salience and ominousness that often precedes the onset of schizophrenic psychosis or of delusions. Such experiences, he writes, involve "a transformation in our total awareness of reality" that often verges on ineffability. In psychiatry, these experiential alterations are often referred to in terms of "derealization." Though derealization most obviously refers to a decline in the sense of objective presence or felt actuality, it can also refer to other unusual experiences in which things seem unlike normal or standard reality, including altered familiarity, vitality, meaning, or relevance. This paper first describes two complementary ways of approaching these phenomena: the notion of an "ontological" dimension (Sass) and that of "existential feeling" (Ratcliffe). It then offers a wider-ranging synopsis of work in phenomenological psychopathology that has sought to address atmospheric alterations believed to be especially characteristic of schizophrenia spectrum conditions, focusing on the themes of a diminished sense of reality, altered sense of meaning, disrupted feeling of familiarity, and diminished vitality and relevance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-97
Number of pages8
JournalPsychopathology
Volume50
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Keywords

  • Abnormal salience
  • Atmosphere
  • Delusional mood
  • Derealization
  • Existential feelings
  • Loss of vital contact
  • Natural self-evidence
  • Ontological difference
  • Phantom concreteness
  • Quasi-solipsism

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Atmosphere: On the Phenomenology of "atmospheric" Alterations in Schizophrenia - Overall Sense of Reality, Familiarity, Vitality, Meaning, or Relevance (Ancillary Article to EAWE Domain 5)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this