- Schreber, Daniel Paul
- (1842-1911)A German judge who was hospitalized three times and diagnosed variously with paranoia, dementia praecox, and " schizophrenia. Schreber was rehabilitated after the first time he was discharged and reinstated as a judge, but had to be readmitted twice, and finally died in the asylum. The accuracy of Schreber's diagnosis has been subject to much debate among historians of psychiatry, despite the fact that his symptoms were described with meticulous precision by his treating physicians, as well as in his autobiographical account Memoirs of my Nervous Illness.Apart from delusions, depression, agitation, euphoria, compulsive thinking, onomatomania, insomnia, hypochondriasis, and many other psychiatric and somatic symptoms, Schreber suffered from various types of hallucination. These included " visual hallucinations, " verbal and " nonverbal auditory hallucinations, "imperative hallucinations, " tactile hallucinations, " genital hallucinations, "somatic hallucinations, "olfactory hallucinations, "gustatory hallucinations, "lilliputian hallucinations, and " compound hallucinations. In addition, he suffered from " diplopia, " pareidolia, "auditory pareidolia, an "intermetamorphosis syndrome, various "déjà phenomena, and "body schema illusions. The import of Schreber's work for hallucinations research lies in the combination of a first-hand acquaintance with hallucinatory phenomena and an exceptional ability to verbalize and analyze them. This combination places him in a league with other hallucinating intellectuals, such as Victor Kandinsky (1849-1889), Christoph Friedrich Nicolai (1733-1811), John Thomas Perceval (1803-1876), Vaslav Nijinsky (1889-1950), Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893), Fjodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881), and Ludwig Staudenmaier (1865-1933).ReferencesLothane, Z. (1992). In defense of Schreber: Soul murder and psychiatry. Hillsdale, NJ: Analytic Press.Schreber, D.P. (1903). Denkwürdigkeiten eines Nervenkranken nebst Nachträgen und einem Anhang über die Frage: 'Unter welchen Voraussetzungen darfeine für geisteskrank erachtete Person gegen ihren erklärten Willen in einer Heilanstalt festgehalten werden?' Leipzig: Mutze.Stanley, W.J. (1986). Judge Schreber's nervous illness re-examined. Bulletin of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, 10, 236-238.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.