By Jonathan Sparkes

A liminal phase is one where the subject experiences his existence as being in a non-controlled or controllable environment, one that is insecure, unfamiliar and thus anxiety producing. Everyone routinely slips in and out of liminal phases from work, inter and intra personal interactions, family etc. Healthy individuals cope with this phase constructively or learn how to. My argument is that individuals who are psychologically impaired or ones disabled due to a tragedy, loss or some other personal crisis, find themselves incapable of coping with the liminal phase which results in disintegration and devolution I argue that the scope or degree of psychopathology -irregardless of any particular history- is determinate and correlative with the affect(s) this state causes. There is a causative relationship between negative affect in this state and psychopathology. Triggers might cause liminal states, defence mechanism might recreate and/or reinforce such states, and psychotic breaks might result in permanent existing in a liminal state. I argue that this liminal state is measurable, containable, predictable and thus relevant to discussions about radicalism, psychopathology and mental illness. More so, I think much more productive time can be spent in rehabilitative efforts by locating and managing these liminal phases.


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Jonathan Sparkes



Published: 18 Feb, 2015

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