chapter  10
7 Pages

Schizophrenia, addiction, and other narcissitic conditions

The last but one clinical observation used by Freud to justify the introduction of narcissism is schizophrenic regression. Everybody agrees that schizophrenics withdraw their interest from the external world-at any rate that is the impression they make. I have already pointed out that when discussing the dynamics of schizophrenic regressions, Freud invariably started his argument like this: 'The libido that is liberated by frustration does not remain attached to objects in fantasy, but withdraws to the ego' (Standard Edition, XIV, p. 86). This formula was repeated whenever Freud approached the problem of schizophrenia. However, only a few years after the publication of his paper on Narcissism another sentence appeared which more often than not was mentioned together with the previous one. In the Introductory Lectures, Freud discusses the fixation points to which the various neuroses regress and then states that in schizophrenia it is 'probably ... the stage of primitive narcissism, to which dementia praecox returns in its final outcome' (Standard Edition, XVI, p. 421). This is a theoretical statement; moreover, it suffers from all the contradictions inherent in the theory of primary narcissism. What are the clinical observations?