We believe that there would be a previous step to the study of this reception of the concept, which we intend to address in this study. We also intend to demonstrate that the concept of desire - as the essential dimension of human being - is not absent in the way that Lacan approaches the psychoses and even that its reintroduction would allow another reading of this clinic, aiming not only to sustain its inherent position in relation to the human but also to provide resources for the cure.
The notion of limitation of jouissance is that which is most frequently used for the treatment of psychoses among the disciples of Lacan Laurent, ; Maleval, ; Miller, a , ; Soler, ; Soria Dafunchio, Why think about cases in terms of limitation of jouissance and not make questions relating to the position of the psychotic in desire? In one way, to exclude desire from the human dimension responds to an Aristotelian ethic that Lacan, put on the side of the discourse of the Master. At the same time that Aristotle excludes the desire of the human, he relates it to the lack of reason and bestiality.
For the purposes of our subject, the fact that desire is not compatible with reason brings it closer to madness. This ethics of the domain seem to be what, on the other hand, we find in the attempts to treat psychoses that are oriented to limiting jouissance. However, the Lacanian perspective reintroduces the question of desire as the basis of analytic experience and, following Spinoza, gives status to the essence of the human being.
The difference between the Aristotelian ethics and the ethics of psychoanalysis proposed by Lacan is at the center of the question about desire, and this does not exclude the case of psychosis. Although Lacan did not exclude the psychotic from this condition of desire that is essential to human beings, he did not greatly advance about how the desire would operate in the cure of the psychotic in the elucidation, which is a fundamental part of the transference in the analytic device. We will advance our hypothesis in this respect in the conclusions.
However, the aim of this article is to recover the concept of desire to think about the clinic of psychosis, leaving aside in the second place its link with the transfer and desire of the analyst.
Now, the profusion of initial references is diminishing throughout his teaching and it seems that at the end of the study the concept of desire does not have the same importance as at the beginning. In , shortly before his death, Lacan claims that he never set out to overtake Freud, but to continue his work, emphasizing that he dedicated himself to putting in form the tie of the fixation of desire with the mechanisms of the unconscious.
It might be thought, based on the introduction of the object a in the theory, that the concept of desire can be read in its appearance of objectified cause and therefore its place is central in the theory of knots, considering that the knot grips the object in its cross-linking.
In his On a question preliminary to any possible treatment of psychosis , written in , Lacan underlines that in the absence of the Name-of-the-Father, Schreber has assumed the desire of the mother through some identifications. The dimension of lacking is attaching to desire according to Lacan. It is the reference that desire can find in the signifier of the lack, the phallus, which is in question, but not the existence of desire.
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In , Lacan insists upon the psychotic effort to institute a desire in the Other, and this allows him to reread the grammatical deductions of the paranoid delusions made by Freud: the other who took the initiative to love, is read by Lacan in terms of psychotic attempts to institute a desire in the Other Lacan, Then, desire is not symbolized by the law of the father; it is an attempt to institute a desire in the Other, appearing as the first characteristics of psychotic desire, as is pointed out by Lacan.
Later, in the seminar regarding identification, more precisely in the class of June 13, , Lacan is explicit in saying that neurosis, psychosis and perversion are three faces of the normal structure of desire, and that each one is specified by the way that ignores one of the three terms that Lacan points out: body, Other, phallus; among which the fate of desire is played.
He proposes that in the structuring of psychotic desire the body is all important, since the psychotic does not know the phallus nor the Other, and because of this condition, it has to deal with a unveiled body. This unfamiliarity about the Other goes hand in hand with an inability to grasp the desire of the Other, so we can identify the attempt to institute it through persecution. In this way, the relationship to the body in psychoses appears intimately linked to the position related to desire.
While recovering these references, we noticed that these formulations could give us the tools to think about the dynamic of the subjective positions in psychoses, which becomes something very important to understand the movements that the cure produces.
The Other Side of Desire: Lacan's Theory of the Registers by Tamise Van Pelt
The most deficient reading of these concepts guide us to think that the condition of the foreclosure of the Name-of-the-Father leads to an invariable structure, without the possibility of modification. According to Lacan, the fundamental meeting between the desire of the subject and the desire of the Other can depend on accidents, because of the way that the desire of the father and of the mother were presented for that subject.
At this point, Lacan, argues that there was no choice, because the choice was already made at the level of what was presented to the subject. At this foundational meeting, the structural coordinates of the subjective position are defined. In this case, the foreclosure hypothesis seems to have produced a static effect in its appropriation: given the structure of the psychosis, there would be no possibility of change.
The problem of the possible changes of position of the psychotic does not invalidate the fixity of the foundational coordinates, but it would be possible to think of a dynamic and of dialectic of the cure, in which we consider that desire would be a key element. Desire is established in the dialectic of lack where it is the Other who gives the experience of desire to the subject. Lacan, is clear at this point when he argues that it is an essential structure of any analytically defined structure and not just of the neurotic.
The position of how the psychotic related to desire corresponds to the body, as Lacan places in the seminar about identification. For the neurotic, whose position in desire is the phantasie? The metaphorical reference to the Name-of-the-Father ties to the registers instituting an oedipal and consequently religious psychic reality. The object a , cause of desire, is apprehended by the knot. The X of desire is fixed on the phantasie that brings an interpretation. The neurotic subject has a phantasmatic relationship to desire, while desire is sustained by phantasie.
The situation is different for the psychotic, because his condition implies the rejection of the metaphorical reference of the father, meaning the foreclosure of the Name-of-the-Father. But the absence of the metaphor does not predetermine the presence of desire, what supports it is the metonymy Lacan, a. Desire as a metonym of being in the subject Lacan, is not necessarily maintained by the metaphorical operation or by the father. Lacan, a affirms that desire makes the law.
Consequently it follows that if the psychotic rejects the Name-of-the-father, then desire is excluded. But Lacan does not make the Name-of-the-Father or the law absolute conditions. Desire is the absolute condition. The question of desire is beyond the father; it concerns the condition of the speaking being in language and does not necessarily imply a metaphorical reference.
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By restoring the dimension of desire, the psychotic invents his own rule. We propose that the problem is not the absence of desire in the psychotic, but rather how that desire is supported without reference to the father and without the phantasie. He also placed the existence of an abolition of desire on the melancholy side of pain, an accomplished desire that confines with desire in its pure state: the desire to die Lacan, However, this is not the only form of psychotic desire that Lacan places, he also spoke of the freezing of desire in paranoia Lacan, This means that we can think about pure and impure forms of desire in psychosis, pure forms that come to death and to direct realization, by short circuits, and impure forms, masked, fixed which introduce a preamble to the realization De Battista, Based on this idea, it is possible to say that delusion can operate as support to desire, and we would find its mark in the asymptotic character that is sometimes presented.
A writing practice can works as a support of desire, as in the case of Joyce who maintained his existence in the desire to be an artist which would keep some college students busy for centuries. The discussion about the absence or presence of desire in psychosis transcends a purely academic question to have a significant impact on clinical practice. The clinical question that might come from this is in regards to being able to locate the position of the subject in desire. Is the psychotic at the point where he can desire?
Has the psychotic found support for that desire? We propose rereading it from the position of the psychotic in desire.
If desire is an absolute condition and through which law originates, then it is in relation to the changes of position related to desire that can be thought in the lines of efficiency of a cure. Early on, Freud pointed out the difference between defending oneself from desires by repressing them and retaining a relationship with them in phantasie - the position of the neurotic -, and to carry out the desire in action even if that implies loss of identity and the transformation of the being into delusion, for example. In this case, Freud points to at least three different positions against unconscious desire.
It would be nice, but it is not, this is a desire but not a real pleasure. The clinical correlate of this position of rejection is a discomfort that dissolves the body in mortifying or hypochondriac mortification, which is precipitated in several suicide attempts: Schreber believes he is dead. He does not want to live either.
The circuit seems to be closing in on the impulsive destiny of returning to the own person and the self-destructive consequences. The position of rejection of desire leads to mortification. The second position introduces that the initiative comes from the Other Lacan, a. Clinically this is manifested in the delusion of persecution or in erotomania: the body is submitted to be abused, the Other wants to murder the soul.
Who desires is the other, not him. The position of radical revolt is now modified and includes a detour. The body enters into the circuit of the Other. It is the rejected desire that appears in the persecution. The persecuted, unlike the neurotic, knows the own unconsciousness and can translate it with severity.
Lacan, reformulates this aspect saying that in the delusion of persecution there is the attempt to restore or institute a desire in the Other, since the psychotic does not have the symbolization of the desire of the mother that introduces the phallus through the operative of the Name-of-the-Father. It is an asymptotic fulfillment of desire that has found support in delusion, organizing the world and the being with some stability.
The difference between the first and second position is that revolt and rejection have been changed into consent, an assignment that entails a transformation of the being: the death of the old being and the advent of a new being who comes from his change into woman. This subversion requires such self-sacrifice. It is not about a possible short-circuiting of action anymore, but of an action that has the value of an act, of a transformation of the subject.
A sublimatory aspect seems to be incorporated, because the publication of Memoirs of My Nervous Illness aims to be of social utility. The solution includes a relationship with the body that moves away from an initial hypochondriac mortification. We have the position of rejection of desire and the consequent mortification of the body manifested in hypochondria and suicidal acts.
Lacan calls the specular image "orthopaedic," since it leads the child to anticipate the overcoming of its "real specific prematurity of birth.
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The mirror stage also has a significant symbolic dimension, due to the presence of the figure of the adult who carries the infant. Having jubilantly assumed the image as their own, the child turns their head towards this adult, who represents the big Other , as if to call on the adult to ratify this image.