xenopathic syndrome

   Also referred to as xenopathic character. The French term syndrome xénopathique was introduced in or shortly before 1928 by the French psychiatrist Pierre Lelong to denote the compelling sense of objectivity that may lend hallucinations a quality similar to that of objects existing in the extracorporeal world. Lelong conceptualized hallucinations as dissociated or depersonalized mental elements, and argued that these mental elements can develop into * incomplete hallucinations, and then into * complete hallucinations. He called the compelling sense of objectivity characteristic of complete hallucinations their xeno-pathic character. As he maintained, "At the very moment a certain representation enters the conscious mind, the subject has the positive sensation of an exterior object. The qualities of a personal reflection suddenly make [him] discern a transmitted thought, a pain is felt as natural or provoked. Xenopathy, the morbid principle underlying the mental disorder, firmly shakes one's basis for critique: the madness of faith is its facile consequence." Lelong distinguished the xeno-pathic syndrome from other sources ofconfusion over the hallucination's ontological status, such as diminished insight, and diminished reality- monitoring capacities.
   Lelong, P. (1928). Le problème des hallucinations. Paris: Librairie J.-B. Baillière et Fils.

Dictionary of Hallucinations. . 2010.

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