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By David Shapiro

Dr. David Shapiro's first new e-book in ten years, Dynamics of personality deepens his now-classic reports of psychopathology with this conceptualization of a dynamics of the complete character--a self-regulatory process that encompasses own attitudes, modes of task, and courting with the exterior global. Extending and magnifying Shapiro's unique imaginative and prescient of psychopathology, Dynamics of personality is a resonantly reasoned reaction to the relief of complicated tactics of brain to items of organic illness of mental trauma.

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It is enough to say here that the evidence that all adult symptomatology is "in character" implies that the etiology of psychopathology is in fact no more than a special case of character development in general. Perhaps one should say that it is no less than a special case of character development, for this means that such etiology is far more complicated than the conception of any particular and direct cause-any particular developmental conflict, trauma, or other particular cause-might presume.

In this conception anxiety had a regulatory function, but an extremely simple one. Anxiety functioned as an inhibitory signal, primarily of particular external dangers, such as castration or abandonment. It was triggered in the neurotic adult by the revival of early wishes or fantasies that entailed such dangers. Yet, as I said, one can easily see the theory's logic. An unconsciously preserved childhood idea of some kind of external danger, such as a threat of punishment, seems indeed the only way to account for pathological anxiety in the adult in the absence of a picture of the individual character organization.

A review of the cognitive processes typical of the two conditions, neurotic and psychotic, is particularly important to this study, for these processes are obviously central to their respective relationships with the external world. While the cognitive impairments of schizophrenia always have been apparent, though not always clearly defined, neurotic conditions have generally been considered cognitively intact. In fact, that difference between the neurotic and the psychotic is usually thought to be the most essential one.

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