Temporal self, psychopathology, and adaptive functioning deficits: An examination of acute psychiatric patients

Yosef Sokol, Mark R. Serper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Individuals with psychiatric illness have difficulty remembering specific events from their personal past and imagining their future. We examined psychotic psychiatric inpatients' sense of self-continuity over time, predicting that low levels of temporal continuity would predict increased psychopathology and lower functionality. Inpatients (n = 60) were compared with healthy controls (n = 60) on a validated measure of self-continuity, psychiatric symptoms, insight, and adaptive functioning capacity. Results revealed that patients had significant difficulty perceiving their past, present, and future selves as unified over time compared with controls. Within the inpatient group, deficits in present to future self-continuity was associated with patients' severity of positive, negative, and mood symptoms, degree of insight, and adaptive capacity. It may be the case that temporal self-unity provides a context for deriving reinforcement from daily life experiences in the moment and in anticipating the future as well as a worthwhile goal for treatment exploration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-83
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Volume207
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2019

Keywords

  • Continuous identity
  • depression
  • future self
  • psychosis
  • schizophrenia

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