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Part II - The Beautifying Rise and the Disastrous Fall of the Child's Body in Georgios Vizyenos

Yannis Grammatopoulos Karnac Books ePub

PART II

THE BEAUTIFYING RISE AND THE DISASTROUS FALL OF THE CHILD'S BODY IN GEORGIOS VIZYENOS

In the evening of April 15th, 1896, citizens of Athens and international guests attended the closing ceremony of the first modern Olympic Games. In the following day's newspapers, next to euphoric articles on the revival of an ancient Greek tradition, there was a distressing announcement: the poet and professor Georgios Vizyenos, admitted to a psychiatric hospital four years earlier, had passed away the same night.

Not many were surprised by the writer's death. For the past four years, newspapers had been reporting on his deteriorating condition following a dramatic admission accompanied by psychotic symptomatology: megalomaniac and erotomaniac delusions, intense physical excitation channelled to incomprehensible speech and writing, and two suicide attempts. Those symptoms had appeared in the writer's early forties, following a dramatic vacillation of the consistency of the body image.

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Part I - The “Poor Relation's” Story: Schizophrenia in Freud and Lacan

Yannis Grammatopoulos Karnac Books ePub

PART I

THE “POOR RELATION'S” STORY: SCHIZOPHRENIA IN FREUD AND LACAN

In 1908, a prominent Swiss psychiatrist named Eugen Bleuler gave a speech to an association of German psychiatrists. In that speech, he suggested the replacement of the designation “dementia praecox” with a term of his own invention: “schizophrenia”. Dementia praecox had been an earlier psychiatric term that described the same “mental disease”. Three years later, in 1911, Bleuler published an influential monograph that introduced the term formally to the psychiatric domain.

Psychoanalysis, a psychological theory and therapeutic technique that had already been developing for a few years, soon caught up with psychiatry. It was also in 1911 that its founder, Sigmund Freud, published one of his five famous case studies: “President Schreber”. Freud had been discussing schizophrenia with one of Bleuler's hospital subordinates, Carl Gustav Jung, since Bleuler first suggested it. In his study of 1911, Freud analysed the new-fangled concept in light of a dysfunction in the establishment of narcissism, which, in contrast, happens in paranoia, which was the paper's original focus. In another paper, published four years later, he would refer to a therapeutic orientation for schizophrenia different from the one he had suggested in his study of paranoia. Yet somehow both views relate to what Lacanian psychoanalysis places at the centre of the schizophrenic being: the challenge to relate to one's body and organs through language. Freud's thinking is examined below, following the history of the psychiatric configuration of schizophrenia.

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Part III - After a Hundred Years: The Contemporary Lacanian Clinic of Schizophrenia

Yannis Grammatopoulos Karnac Books ePub

PART III

AFTER A HUNDRED YEARS: THE CONTEMPORARY LACANIAN CLINIC OF SCHIZOPHRENIA

It has now been more than a century since Bleuler transformed Kraepelin's dementia praecox (1899) into schizophrenia (1911). The vocabulary of mental disorders has undergone many more changes ever since.

During the twentieth century, once-prevalent psychiatric terms were abandoned or replaced (e.g., conversion disorder in place of hysteria), whereas new clinical concepts appeared due to social, historical, and scientific changes (e.g., gender dysphoria, PTSD, and stimulant-related disorder) (APA, 2013). Yet it is not only names that have changed but the symptoms that we encounter too (Verhaeghe, 2015).

The concept of schizophrenia underwent significant changes in the past century as well and suffered severe criticism (Arieti, 1974; Laing, 1990; Szasz, 1976). However, this signifier is still widely used in the twentieth century by psychiatrists, psychologists, and psychotherapists who wish to treat people diagnosed as schizophrenics.

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Medium 9781782205777

Chapter One - Large-Group Trauma at the Hands of the “other”, Transgenerational Transmissions, and Chosen Traumas

Gila Ofer Karnac Books ePub

Vamik D. Volkan

Massive societal catastrophes can occur for any number of reasons, including natural or man-made disasters, political oppression, economic collapse, or death of a leader, but tragedies, brutalities, and deaths that result from the deliberate actions of other ethnic, national, religious, or ideological groups called “enemies,” must be differentiated from other types of massive shared trauma. This is because they involve severe large-group identity issues. When the “other” who possesses a different large-group identity than the victims humiliates and oppresses a large group, the victimized large-group's identity is threatened.

This chapter explores shared transgenerational transmission processes that are put in motion within the victimized large group following a massive trauma at the hands of the “other,” processes that nurture the development of “chosen traumas.” A chosen trauma refers to the shared mental representation of a traumatic historical event that is a significant large-group identity marker. Under certain circumstances political leaders may reactivate a chosen trauma through propaganda and hate speeches that inflame followers’ shared feelings about themselves and their enemy.

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Chapter Two - Group Analysis on War and Peace

Gila Ofer Karnac Books ePub

John R. Schlapobersky

Introduction

This chapter applies the principles of group analysis to terror and the dynamics of hatred and polarization that give rise to it. Terrorism seeks to foster these dynamics, building its resources out of hatred. Group analysis is a clinical and theoretical discipline that locates the disturbance of social relations between the psyche and the social world (Brown & Zinkin, 1995). The discipline is used here to guide a survey that takes account of terror following 9/11 and relates this to threats and conflict in Israel during the period of the Second Intifada, 2000–2005. It examines contemporary culture within and outside the country, and four historical conflicts involving war crimes and crimes against humanity. It draws on group analytic sources to provide psychosocial foundations for the applied analysis of historical events to build a perspective on the generational transmission of trauma. This is investigated between the consulting room and the street, each of which serve this paper as emblems for the psyche and the social world.

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