Interior Landscapes of Mental Disorder: Visual Representations of the Experience of Madness

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Abstract

The authors surveyed 38 textbooks of abnormal psychology and found 673 pictures of the inner experience of mental disorder. Textbook authors use these pictures to demonstrate diagnostic features of individuals and groups, to make a connection between mental disorder and artistic talent, and to suggest what it is like to experience mental disorder. To fulfill these functions, many of the pictures in the sample use the incongruities and distortions of expressionist, surrealist, and naive techniques.

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