Marie-Jeanne Guedj : emergencies in adolescence

The author offers some reflections on the basis of experience in a general emergency psychiatric center, which each year receives 700 youths under the age of eighteen, and a reading of Henri Flavigny’s 1984 article on emergency responses to adolescence. The emergency is actually a societal phenomenon which worsens in times of crisis. This article treats the complex temporalities of adolescence and of the emergency, a process which is both intrinsic and environmental, which may or may lead to the emergency ward, just as an emergency may or may not be present in times of crisis. Paranoia is activated in this, and is sometimes the only way of questioning what is false when compromise is not possible. In this way the emergency appears as the receptacle for the impossible adolescence, when subjectivity is at an impasse. It is revealed in an unexpected way as a place for speaking and listening.

Adolescence, 2011, T. 29 n° 3, pp. 615-626.