Carl Jung's Theory of the Essay

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The patient's behaviors are not however, atypical in relation to his experiences. He is just one of many individuals who find themselves immersed in alienation because they cannot live up to the high expectations placed on them by society, and in turn, by themselves. These childhood drives to reach "the highest truths and values" (Palmer, 1999) are often thwarted by personal failures. When one's role in life does not match up with who or what he is told he is supposed to be, escapism through drugs, dissociation, and detachment from interpersonal relationships are common coping tools.

Jung purports that although dissociation "is most clearly observable in psychopathology, fundamentally it is a normal phenomenon" (Jung, 1991, p. 121). He adds that the products of dissociation "behave like independent beings" (p. 121). These products may appear in personified form - although Jung adds that these personifications appear particularly as archetypal figures. The psyche, he asserts, has an intrinsic capacity, or tendency, to dissociate. Thus the patient's lack of contact with his son and his inability to sustain a long-lasting marriage are in many ways natural derivatives of his innocent child archetype combined with his life experiences.

According to Bennett (2010) "The psychotic personality literally lives inside the fairy-tale, and this primitive but energetically vibrant internal world is dominated by elemental forces which keep the individual chronically mired in life-or-death quandaries and themes of basic survival" (p. 75). In many ways, however, this can also be said of the habitual drug user. Drug use is a form of escapism that creates an "internal world dominated by elemental forces" and thus drug addiction can easily mirror many of the symptoms of psychosis. Accordingly, from a Jungian perspective, the patient's lifelong abuse of drugs is rooted in the same type of mental and experiential constructs to which the psychotic personality is privy.

An additional consideration is that because addiction and schizophrenia are genetically transferred, the patient had a predisposition for "a state of sinful personhood" not necessarily tied to his innocent child archetype, but resultant from simple biology. While there is no mention in the case study of addiction being a family trait, further investigation would likely reveal this to be the case. Moreover, the fact that the patient's mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia emphasizes the fact that the patient followed his prescribed archetype both due to nature and nurture.

In terms of the social isolation and detachment qualities of the patient, it is essential to be aware that "there is a distinction concerning individuals who retreat into stultified and emotionally dead 'adult roles' which ultimately come split off from the dynamic enervating influences of the central harmonics" (Bennett, 2010, p. 77). The patient's combined detachment from reality and from social connections thus indicates that within the framework of the innocent child archetype, individual development has been circumvented by a displaced emphasis on self-actualization.

References

Bennett, M. (2010) Return to freedom and dignity, Chapter 8

Jung C., (1968) The psychology of the child archetype: The futurity of the archetype. Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Vol. 9, Part 1. 2nd ed., Princeton University Press, pp. 164-165.

Jung, C.G. (1991) The collected works of C.G. Jung, Eds. H. Read, M. Fordham, G. Adler, and W. McGuire, trans R.F.C. Hull, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press,

Palmer. P. (1999). Let your life speak: Listening for…

Sources Used in Document:

References

Bennett, M. (2010) Return to freedom and dignity, Chapter 8

Jung C., (1968) The psychology of the child archetype: The futurity of the archetype. Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Vol. 9, Part 1. 2nd ed., Princeton University Press, pp. 164-165.

Jung, C.G. (1991) The collected works of C.G. Jung, Eds. H. Read, M. Fordham, G. Adler, and W. McGuire, trans R.F.C. Hull, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press,

Palmer. P. (1999). Let your life speak: Listening for the voice of vocation. San Francisco, CA Jossey-Brass.

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