Resituating remorse in relation to the scopic drive and maternal castration, in line with the work of Bonnet (Remorse. Psychoanalysis of a Murderer), this paper attempts to determine the evolution of this affect, and especially its involvement in the process of adolescence. The hypothesis that remorse, as anxiety of fright, can under certain conditions push one to act, will be developed, using the case of a patient who committed a motiveless murder in late adolescence. By reconstructing the childhood and adolescence of this patient, we will emphasize how hatred and infantile remorse coming from the earliest mother-child relations will be contained in adolescence only by self-destructive responses, pathological wanderings, drug abuse … These solutions rendered invalid by the impasse of puberty will lead the subject, “ haunted ” by maternal imagos, to the murderous act.
The author takes off from a prior work relating the place of remorse in the analysis of an adolescent who became a murderer in order to reread and re-interpret the place of this affect in the texts where Freud speaks of his self-analysis. He points out an implicit theory, which ties in with the explicit theory, barely sketched out, and emphasizes in particular the active and positive side of this affect most often presented as a handicap. He then shows the different faces that remorse can assume in the treatment of the adolescent, working with the principle characteristics pointed out in the preceding discussion, so as to facilitate its detection, its being taken into consideration, and its evolution. This study also seeks to help better differentiate the major affects and to show how to position ourselves when one of them appears central and dominant, whether it be shame, guilt, sadness, or remorse.