“Shining” a Light on Psychosis and Triggers to its Violent Expression

Stephen’s King’s brilliant and terrifying novel, The Shining, is an exploration of inter-generational psychosis in a family. The novel gives a multi-layered account of paranoid psychosis and provides a narrative framing of the development of a psychosis to a violent end, making it possible to explore the triggers to its violent expression. The goal of this paper is not to seek a precise cause-and-effect of psychotic and violent phenomena but to highlight and elaborate certain clinical features that allow different modalities of psychosis in the case of a father and his son to be distinguished, to trace their mutual points of overlap and convergence and to identify triggering moments of florid outbreak. While the psychosis is the one-by-one invention of a solution of every psychotic subject and is not the same in the father and son, there are moments of shared paranoid conviction and shared delusion (délire à deux). But there are also crucial differences in the father’s and son’s psychosis, in the relative strength of the defences, identifications and imaginary supports available to each of them. Points of divergence that arise between them are highly affecting and potentially devastating. These ideas are explored via their narrative and characterological development in the book.

An Act of Silent Revolt

This text is a testimony of my experience of psychosis. I do not claim to give a definitive explanation but rather to try to illustrate how easy it is to slide from a “normal” discourse into an “abnormal” one, to slide into an all-embracing psychosis (all-embracing because it entails both affect and reason) without being aware of it. My psychosis was characterized predominantly by a wide-spread delusional system with hallucinations less prevalent. I have tried to tell my story chronologically and objectively. Full objectivity is of course an illusion in this case, because of the personal nature of the article , but I have tried to avoid romanticism where possible. With this personal story I attempt to present a “small phenomenology of my psychosis”.

The Sadness in his Eyes: Encounters with a Juvenile Delinquent with Psychopathic Traits

Both popular and scientific definitions of psychopathy are far from neutral and could be seen to promote stereotyping. For example, the psychopath is often described as a social predator or cold-blooded beast. Such metaphors might influence how individuals with psychopathic traits experience emotions and social relations, and how they think about their criminal acts. We argue that the mental and contextual embedding of psychopathic behaviours is frequently neglected. Building on a detailed qualitative investigation of the affective, interpersonal and antisocial life of a male adolescent with clear psychopathic traits this paper aims to describe how he positions himself in relation to others. Based on our case materials we suggest that his antisocial behaviour and his emotional and interpersonal functioning bear witness to specific defensive processes, as well as to a psychotic structure.

Lacan’s Conceptualization of Jouissance in Psychosis: A Systematic Study of his Work

In his PhD defence the author discusses the theoretical evolution of the Lacanian concepts jouissance and psychosis. He analyses how nuanced shifts in Lacan’s thinking on psychosis influence his theory on jouissance, and vice versa, and how changes in his conceptualization of jouissance force a reconsideration of his theory of psychosis. This is done based on the cases Lacan presents throughout his writings and seminars.

On Mania or the Metonymical Derailment: a Reading of Binswangers Über Ideenflucht

This article reexamines Binswanger’s construction of the manic form of Being-in-the-world as formulated in his Über Ideenflucht (1933). On the one hand, we confront Binswanger’s phenomenological approach of the flight of ideas inspired by Heidegger’s thinking with the classic natural scientific approach of that time. We discuss the way in which both approaches differ radically from one another and we probe deeper into Binswanger’s criticism of Kraepelin, one of the most important representatives of the natural scientifically oriented psychiatry. On the other hand, we connect Binswanger’s analysis of the manic form of Being-in-the-world as a particular way in which the manic subject relates to language, other and time with some propositions from Lacan’s teaching on psychosis.