Gregory Bateson’s Double Bind Theory of schizophrenia

Gregory Bateson

In the 50’s and 60’s Gregory Bateson advanced the notion that individuals being in double binds, that is being in situations where there are conflicting messages, could lead to schizophrenia. Gregory Bateson was working at the Veterans Administration when he developed his notion of the double bind and schizophrenia. Gregory Bateson pushed that understanding the theory of types was key to understanding schizophrenia.

Situations where there are conflicting messages can be upsetting even very upsetting, however, these situations do not lead to schizophrenia. If this were so every one who was on the Internet would have schizophrenia. Now, there is evidence that every one on the Internet is upset but this does not translate to everyone on the Internet having schizophrenia.

A strange fact about Gregory Bateson is Gregory Bateson must have known the double bind theory of schizophrenia was mistaken. Gregory Bateson’s ideas had a cult following but individuals in academia were always telling Gregory Bateson he was mistaken. Gregory Bateson must have been aware that he was in the midst of a situation where there were conflicting messages but Gregory Bateson would also have known that he did not have schizophrenia.

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