The delusional misidentification syndrome has lately been the object of lengthy psychopathological discussions. Controversies persist as to how best to define it, distinguish its subtypes and set their limits. Attempts to provide this syndrome with a better conceptual framework have usually relied on proposing new definitions and classifications. In this article, we suggest that some prevailing difficulties are basically related to two separate but intertwined issues: the self-reflexive property of the human mental functioning and the first-person linguistic expression of human experience. We argue that this discussion belongs to a broader context than the one it is usually referred to, as it deals with problems germane to conceptual psychopathological investigations in general. In that regard, DMS provides us with a very telling example, to the extent to which it has, at its core, to account for the puzzling phenomena of identity, which are particularly affected by cultural and linguistic variables.
Copyright (c) 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel.