When 5-year and 21-33-year follow-up examinations of mood disorder and schizophrenia patients were performed, a distinctive form of behaviour came to light. This was characterised by a formal socialisation that seemed forced but that was nevertheless spontaneous in its effectuation. There were no experiences behind it, i.e. it did not derive from positive psychopathological symptoms, either direct or of a compensatory nature. At the same time, it was regulated and given variety neither by a scale of values that shaped preferences nor by personal connections that differentiated between tendencies to communicate. It was neither configured nor modified by personal needs or initiatives. In this way, rigidly conformist behaviour was a successful strategy in everyday living in view of the fact that scope for action and work was artificially narrowed (sheltered employment, care home, well-ordered living conditions, routine tasks). She did not experience the world of self and others, but was alienated neither from herself nor from others. Sociality grew on the patient as a protective skin. The patient's allism, i.e. existence in terms of the presence of others, was empty. Newly outlined empty allism was observable primarily in the outcomes of catatonic patients. Additionally, the concept appears to be useful in research into postmodern society and civilisation.