Self-enucleation: forget Freud and Oedipus, it's all about untreated psychosis
- 1School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
- 2Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety and Depression, St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, Australia
- 3Discipline of Psychological Medicine, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
- Correspondence to Dr Matthew Michael Large, Mental Health Services, The Prince of Wales Hospital, Barker St, Randwick, NSW 2031, Australia;
Contributors ML conceived the paper and wrote the initial draft and approved the final draft. ON conceived the paper and wrote the initial draft and approved the final draft.
- Accepted 18 January 2012
- Published Online First 28 February 2012
Self-enucleation is a rare but serious ophthalmological and psychiatric emergency. It has traditionally been considered to be the result of psycho-sexual conflicts, including those arising from Freud's Oedipal complex and Christian religious teaching. However, an analysis of published case reports suggests that self-enucleation is a result of psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia. Early treatment with antipsychotic medication in the case of unilateral or threatened self-enucleation might prevent some cases of blindness.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.