Self-portraits. Identity and distortion - Through the examination of various portraits and self-portraits produced in various periods, the author attempts to make use of the world of art to shed light on problems and difficulties that arise in clinical psychopathological practice. Reflecting upon the meaning of portrayal and self-portrayal in art history is highly analogous to the difficulties encountered in meetings with psychopathological patients; concisely speaking, the dilemma is how to objectify the subjective. The difficulty in the diagnostic process lies precisely in the dilemma - intrinsic to psychiatry - of how to objectify the subjective. Therefore, making a diagnosis often results in reifying and alienating the uniqueness and singularity of the individual. The dilemma that plagues psychiatry arises again and again: how can the subjective be objectified without losing its quality of subjectivity? Artistic creativity corresponds to - or imitates - mental creation as a human ability to shape the shapeless, to give shape to chaos without denying that chaos itself is the source of every shape.
Key words: subjectivity, psychopathology, art, diagnostic procedure, creativity, identity.
Parole chiave: soggettività, psicopatologia, arte, processo diagnostico, creatività, identità.