Soviet Psychiatry

a collection of posters:

“Psychiatric diagnoses such as the diagnosis of “sluggish schizophrenia” in political dissidents in the USSR were used for political purposes.[62]:77 It was the diagnosis of “sluggish schizophrenia” that was most prominently used in cases of dissidents.[63] The leading critics implied that Snezhnevsky had designed the Soviet model of schizophrenia and this diagnosis to make political dissent into a mental disease.”

“The incidence of sluggish schizophrenia increased because, according to Snezhnevsky and his colleagues, patients with this diagnosis were capable of socially functioning almost normally.[11] Their symptoms could resemble those of a neurosis or paranoia.[11] Patients with paranoid symptoms retained insight into their condition, but overestimated their significance and had grandiose ideas of reforming society.[11] Sluggish schizophrenia could have such symptoms as “reform delusions”, “perseverance” and “struggle for the truth”.[11] As V.D. Stayzhkin reported, Snezhnevsky diagnosed a reform delusion in every case where a patient “develops a new principle of human knowledge, drafts an ideal of human happiness or other projects for the benefit of mankind”.”

“Self-published and self-distributed literature has a long history, but samizdat is a unique phenomenon in the post-Stalin USSR and other countries with similar systems of tyranny. Under the grip of censorship of the police state, these societies used underground literature for self-analysis and self-expression”

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