LACK OF INSIGHT AMONG PERSONS WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA: DEFINITION, ETIOLOGICAL CONCEPTS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR TREATMENT
Slađana Štrkalj-Ivezić, Karolina Horvat
Although insight into illness may seem as an important factor of recovery, primarily because it is closely associated with the patient’s willingness for cooperation with mental health experts, insight also has another side, unfavourable for the patient and his/her sense of subjective well-being. Previous studies of insight in patients with schizophrenia have shown that insight is negatively associated with various aspects of the patient’s subjective well-being, i.e. higher levels of insight are associated with the patient’s higher levels of depressed mood, decreased quality of life, lower self- esteem, etc. In this paper, possible interpretations of this paradox are presented through an overview of contribution of various factors to insight: from biological (insight as a neurological symptom), psychological (defensive and personal meaning of symptoms) and social factors (public and internalized stigma), as well as an overview of corresponding theories and models. Understanding of insight in the context of the described models is necessary for application of specific treatments to encourage useful insight, important for recovery from a mental illness.