Symptom or sin: for a dialogue between anthropology and psychopathology


  • Antonio A. Filiberti Direttore Servizio di Psicologia , ASL VCO, Verbania



psychic disorder, guilty, psychopathology, therapeutic discourse, sense of sin


The aim of this paper is to rate the meaning of renunciation of an image of human being as psychosomatic and spiritual totality in the domain of mental suffering. Consequence of that anthropological position is to have made heretical the question: doing evil hurts the mind of those who commit it, identifying this question with an obscure vision of madness as a divine curse. The problem is the dissociation of guilt by his moral culpability. In this work above all, I will speak of committed evil. It is not proposed a close identification between committed evil and mental illness, but the thesis is supported that neglecting the role of evil committed in the genesis of one’s own psychic suffering leads to not considering the possible link between guilt and the sense of sin with negative consequences for the clinical-rehabilitative path. John Paul II, to the members of the American Psychiatric Association and the World Psychiatric Association, 4 January 1993, stated that the Church is convinced that no adequate assessment of the nature of the human person or the requirements for human fulfilment and psycho-social well–being can be made without respect for man’s spiritual dimension and capacity for self–transcendence. It follows that no genuine therapy or treatment for psychic disturbances can ever conflict with the moral obligation of the patient to pursue the truth and to grow in virtue. This moral component of the therapeutic task makes great demands upon mental health professionals, who must be committed to attaining a more adequate grasp of the truth and to showing profound respect for the dignity of their patients.





Human nature, soul and body. Convergence of perspectives