CONCERNING THE CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SYNDROME OF PSYCHIC AUTOMATISM

S Todorov, A Dimitrova, E Damyanova, V Chakalova
unpublished
Syndrome of psychic automatism (syndrome of Kandinskiy-Clerambault) as one of usual syndromes in psychopathology was an object of numerous investigations, especially in French and Soviet psychiatry. Different problems were discussed, e.g. of its etiology and pathogenesis, of its role in psychosis formation, of interrelations of its components, of peculiarities and speci-ficity of this syndrome in nosologically different psychotic states. Notwithstanding these investigations , it can be
more » ... it can be definitely said that both limits and clinical significance of the syndrome in the general and also in the special psychopathology are not exactly and clearly outlined. Recently , it becomes evident that phenomena of psychic automatism are very difficult to fit in within the term "syndrome" because they represent by themselbes such a "dynamic series of derangements of the self-developing pathological process that can be rightfully divided into numerous syndromes passing one into another" (1). All that can be explained in an extent by the phenomenological complexity of psychic automatism and by the existing tendency of broadening the psychopathological events incorporated in it. Historically. J. Baillarger (1846) when introducing this syndrome relates the term "psychic automatism" with definite psychic disorders, mainly with psychic hallucinations described by hiniself. J. Seglas (1888), P. Janet (1889), and A. Ceillier (1927) enlarge this concept accepting that psychic automatism means any event which originates ungratuitously. G. de Clerambault (1925) indicates that "psychic automatism is susceptible to a broader or narrower perception". He uses it in an "extraordinary narrow sense" in order to describe "a certain clinical syndrome comprising of three kinds of phenomena: motor, senesthopatic, and ideoverbal". Accoridng to him, this syndrome is a core one concerning chronic hallucinatory psychoses and delusions for persecution, influence, overcoming as well as hypochondric ones originate secondarily concerning this syndrome. However, this assumption has inimediaiely caused objections. G. de Cleram-bault's concepi about psychic automatism wins recognition in French psychiatry to desginate, on the one hand, a group of psychopathological disorders, and, on the other one, a definite mechanism of psychopathological disorder formation. Syndrome of psychic automatism is not accepted, or more exactly, does not enter the Ger-man literature although psychopathological phenomena included (thoughts' deprivation, thoughts' transfer, "performed" phenomena, perception of influence, etc.) are studied in detail and considered more or less important as specific disturbances occurring in schizophrenia (14). This is probably due to the historically appeared concurrence between French and German psychiatry. Undoubtedly, the groundworks on the theory of psychic automamtism in Russian and Soviet psychiatry are laid by V. Kh. Kandinskiy. He gives a full description not only of pseudo-hallucinations but also of a series of otheir symptoms included along with them in !h?, syndrome of psychic automatism (phenomena of forcible thinking, feelmg of intrinsic revealedness, £tc). That is why the denomination of this syndrome, accepted in Soviet psychiatry as "syndrome of Kandinskiy-Clerambault" is perfectly fair in eponymous respect. According to A. V. Snezhnevs
fatcat:vhjjqqoxl5gu3lb5pvhcdrkqna