Repetition in Psychosis: A Theoretical Question
This article investigates the theoretical issue of whether the concept of repetition is applicable to psychosis. In the neurotic subject, repetition is a reaction to the lack in the Other. The subject is confronted with a lack, a chance event, a question to which he has no answer. As a consequence, the neurotic is passively subjected to the Other. A case study makes it clear that the psychotic reacts differently to the lack in the Other. On the one hand, the psychotic can find an answer in the jouissance of the father and this jouissance will repeat itself during the course of his or her life. This “repetition” can be traced back to the sinthome which is not the case in neurosis. On the other hand, some psychotics may be unable to find an answer to the lack in the Other and they will experience a return in the Real. In these patients, a repetition is traceable, but this time to the concept of le retour dans le réel. Therefore, it is concluded that the application of the concept of repetition is inadequate in terms of the psychotic structure.