By proceeding to an etymological analysis of the term infans as surging from the lacanian thought, the author shows how, the question of reaching language being put, as it was, by the structuralist preoccupations, hinders that of the surge of the symbolical, as understood in a wider anthropological perspective. Being re-located thus, the resolution of the oedipus complex appears to be the child’s giving up of some kind of ill-luck (cens) and submission to rules to which he can only object to since they deprive him of his freedom. However, reversely, the oedipus complex will only make sense afterwards at adolescence within a revivival which will not be dealt with here.
The metapsychological status of adolescence as a psychoanalytic concept becomes meaningful with the definition of adolescence as already described by the author in his previous works.
Hence, the clinical approach evidences the insufficiency, on the one hand of the traditional conceptions according to which the use of the concept of symptom aims at multiplying personality profiles in the new psychopathological group of borderline states and, on the other hand, of the approach as described within the structure of the borromean knot as suggested by lacan.Resting on his latest works on the borderline state conceived as a « state » rather than as a « structure », hence being liable to be present in any structure, and which rests on the concept of « limit », the author insists on the distinction between behaviours and symptoms at adolescence and suggests that adolescence should be considered as a logical time of construction for the sinthôme and borderline states as provisional or fixed states that are specifically unstable of such a sinthôme. He here closes his paper with a few notes on the study of the qualities of such a sinthôme.
The metapsychological notions of drive and instinct should be carefully distinguished. So are they in Freud’s german language, which uses both termes instinkt and trieb in an absolutely different way. However, they have always been confused since strachey’s syncretic translation of both by « instinct ». Instincts and drives are opposites in man : innate and adapted on the one side, acquired (precociously) polymorphous and anarchic on the other side. Search for appeasement (instinct) against search for excitation (drive).
In the human being, there exist instinctual behaviours of self-preservation, of which the theory of attachment has demonstrated the width, the precocity (early competencies) and the intersubjective caracter. On the other hand, in the sexual domain, instinct makes its appearance only at the puberal or prepuberal time. It is in the midst of the « silence » of sexual instinct, between birth and puberty, that the sexual drive surges and develops. It does this while leaning on the self-preservation instinct, and through the process of « generalized seduction ».
At puberty, the sexual instinct has to compromise with the infantile drive, which is, so to speak, already « in office ».
It is the infantile sexual drive, as repressed in the unconscious, that makes the object of psychoanalysis.
As far as adult patterns, the stress may be laid on two different aspects, even if they are, most of the time, linked. Some are actively and personally present in us as was the case with the school teacher who changed radically albert camus’ destiny (and in that very case, what was at stake was how to know how to keep one’s place). But they are also patterns which, without directly interfering with our lives, become such by precisely knowing how they should keep their place. In order to illustrate those aspects of things, we chose two episodes in moses’ life : the former when he is given his adult place from jethro, his father-in-law and the latter when he himself becomes the « relation pattern » for his own people in the course of the crossing the desert, by submitting himself to the law of exchange.
The first sexual intercourse of the adolescent is a specific moment when his being-in-the world changes (i.e. His relationship to the world),stamping its traces within both his body and psyche. Being utterly constituent of his future as an adult, it does not however makes him totally an adult as such. With référence to the load of excitement it carries with it, one may consider it as both some kind of necessary and building trauma in the evolution of the subject, hereby violently confronted to the fundamental question of his desire and enjoyment.Supporting myself on some specific reading and understanding of freud’s approach of trauma, repetition and the death instinct, i will suggest that one might view such a « trauma » of the first intercourse at adolescence as some kind of « perspective object » for the psyche, enacting some « anticipatory repetition » : the latter enabling to thwart the destructuring aspects of such a trauma for the psyche, e.g. Softening its load of excitement by « partly » elaborating – through the repetition(s) included in such an act – the traumatic effect of the unexpected surge of the other in oneself, i.e. The very other revealing itself in the acute moment of excitement with which the adolescent will have to deal with in order to become an adult. Such a question will be illustrated with the case of an adolescent whose obsessional symptoms and their symptomatic unfolding in psychotherapy may be retrospectively understood as caught within that very « anticipatory repetition ».
The passing into the adult age of the young woman is often the case on the occasion of her first pregnancy. Psychoanalytic research on that very field, with close collaboration with the medical team, allows one to observe more closely the moves of the feminine psychological life emerging during the course of the pregnancy and the birth delivery. Pregnancy seems to be the very moment of a silent passion for the primary internal object, since the psychological transparency allows a re-voicing of both sexual and incestuous representations that had been decathexed. During the birth delivery, due to the somatic disturbance, the latter representations are liable to filter and give way to an unbindable libidinal excitement with the possible risk of the erection of a traumatic neurosis.
The mechanism of allergy according to the psychoanalytic theory can be viewed as a fundamentally regressive and unstable psychopathological arrangement. Its stands in sharp contrast to the clinical “check-up” method of investigation found in the psychosomatic field.
The case of a young asthmatic girl, subjected to interviews and tests, shows how smartly the protecting-mechanism of allegy falls into place by calling on the mind’s capacities to short-circuit, for instance, the realization of having to grow old or the obligation for a young adult to accept one’s responsibilities.
Against the background of the reactivation of the pregenital and genital development issue and the various kinds of answers made to it by the adolescent will be examined the loss and gain relation between the dissatisfaction of neurotical adjustement and the choice of allergy as a remedy, the latter being regarded as a psychic and physical response at the same time.
In the course of the study will be developed the idea that the adolescent’s choice to start an allergy may be interpreted in a few cases like a potential system of protection tending to keep the psychosomatic displeasure at its lowest and considered as the triggering factor of acute asthma cases susceptible of cure.
The clinical examination of self-induced allergy by the adolescent is a very promising field of investigation to bring to light and test the intrinsic links between on the one hand the psychosomatic theory that concentrates often on the study of child and adult and on the other hand the psychoanalytic psychopathology.
A clinical vignette of the cure of two adolescents, a neurotic and a psychotic one about their psychological work on how to deal with the oedipus complex.
We are allowed to think that the difficulties, nay the impigements young psychotic patients encounter to establish their adult life derive from failing key-moments of their psychological development. The process of time for them, therefore, becomes an endless space rather than a web of life upon which some vivid stages could be put down, i.e. Those which may allow them to grow up.
Will a psychotherapeutic work, combined with an intense institutional nursing, enable to mobilize once again the necessary components to that growth/maturity ?
Becoming an adult forces the confrontation to the second time of the oedipian conflict within a sequence implying some distance with the first love or hate objects. The outcome of the access to the adult stage and to the processes of sublimation depend on the quality of the psychological work over the links with the objects all along the stages going from latency to post-adolescence. A research on the elaboration of the depressive position at adolescence, starting from the rorschach and tat tests, shows that such an elaboration becomes possible only after adolescence as such.