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double bookkeeping


Alternative formsEdit

  • double-bookkeeping


double bookkeeping (uncountable)

  1. (psychology, psychiatry) The tendency, among those who experience delusions, to perceive reality and the delusions as both being real, while remaining unbothered by the discrepancy or inconsistencies between the two.
    • 1950, Joseph Zinkin (translator), Eugen Bleuler (author), Dementia Praecox or the Group of Schizophrenias, International Universities Press:
      page 56: It is especially important to know that these patients carry on a kind of “double-entry bookkeeping” in many of their relationships. They know the real state of affairs as well as the falsified one and will answer according to the circumstances with one kind or the other type of orientation—or both together. This last is especially frequent in mis(-)recognizing people: the physician “is now here as Dr. N.,” at other times he becomes the former lover.
      pages 58–9: Therefore, he will at times answer correctly and at other times incorrectly, according to the constellation present in his mind at the moment. Nowhere does the “double-entry bookkeeping” stand out more prominently than in orientation. A patient, who for years speaks almost nothing but word-salad and acts accordingly, may nevertheless be perfectly capable of registering everything that goes on around him, even to the very day and hour.
      page 147: Thus we have here two different personalities operating side by side, each one fully attentive. However, they probably are never completely separated from each other since one may communicate with both. Personality too has its “multiple bookkeeping.” In conversation, a patient may completely ignore or misunderstand any of our arguments and yet interpret them correctly at some later time.
    • 2012 June 22, Jeneen Interlandi, “When My Crazy Father Actually Lost His Mind”,
      While we waited for the doctor to evaluate him, my father did what mental health professionals refer to as double-bookkeeping. He remembered most of what transpired earlier in the day but still believed he was in the hospital to have his pacemaker checked.