SCOTOMA (literally, “dimness of vision”)

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In psychiatry, a scotoma is, figuratively, a “mental blind spot.” This usage derives from the medical term for a blind or partially blind area in the visual field due to damage in the retina caused by disease or injury. The term is applied to a persistent lack of insight or awareness, such as the inability to recognize one’s true motives or to consider interpretations that conflict with preconceived ideas about one’s self or one’s relationships with other people. “Scotomatization” may therefore be viewed as a defense mechanism or a form of resistance cm the part of the patient to the recognition of the truth about himself. In psychoanalysis, such resistance is interpreted as an unconscious attempt to prevent disclosure of repressed impulses or memories that would threaten the patient’s ego.

Cite this page: N., Sam M.S., "SCOTOMA (literally, “dimness of vision”)," in PsychologyDictionary.org, November 28, 2018, https://psychologydictionary.org/scotoma-literally-dimness-of-vision/ (accessed December 5, 2021).

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