The phenomenon of the imaginary companion is well described among children and elderly people, but is rarely evoked in adolescents. Its manifestation at the age of adolescence is often misinterpreted as delirium and a sign of beginning schizophrenia. In this article we present the case of Julie, a seventeen-year-old teenager, in order to illustrate the hypothesis that the imaginary companion can appear within other psychopathologies than those of psychosis and schizophrenia. The young woman uses an imaginary companion she calls « Monseigneur » (« Mylord ») to compensate for an underlying depression. We describe in detail this clinical situation, the different stages of the therapeutic treatment and the psychological evolution of Julie.
Justine is a teenager who presents a limited functioning, her main symptoms being provoked and repeated vomiting. She ejects food as she evacuates thought. She invests acts by getting rid of intern tension. The outbreak of sexuality reinforces the impossibility to invest a passive position as if she was reactivating the original time of seduction. The author describes the difficulty to find her position in the psychotherapeutic area, considering the failure of the patient’s psychic staging. First condemned to expulsion, and searching to counter her experience of passivity, she evokes the dangerous ordeal that represents the melancholic approach of otherness’ recognition toward the object in the intern traces left by it.
revue Adolescence, 2011, T. 29 n°4, pp. 875-893.