Hélène Riazuelo : an adolescent between two machines. dialysis and computer

Starting from a case study, this paper addresses the complexity of simultaneously performing a « work of adolescence » and a « work of disease » for adolescents suffering from a serious somatic disease since childhood and being also under dialysis for a shorter amount of time. Being dependent on an artificial kidney, a nursing team, and his mother, the adolescent can hardly also grow as an adolescent. Dmitri is an adolescent who whose corporal changes have been thwarted by disease and death. During psychoanalytic work, he tries to elaborate this, starting with some video game experience. In video games, and hence, through another machine (the computer), he creates and then incarnates an avatar that lies between two universes, the real one, and a virtual one. From this state, he constructs a tale in which life and game fade into each other, where reality and the virtual world melt together in order to make the latter more bearable and also in order to make more bearable the idea that he is bound to live with a machine. This idea materializes by means of a game which he can both control and share, and which therefore serves as a transitional space

Adolescence, 2012, 30, 1, 199-215.