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{{Top}}angoisse{{Bottom}}
  
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==Psychiatry==
 +
"[[Anxiety]]" has long been recognised in [[psychiatry]] as one of the most common [[symptom]]s of [[mental]] disorder.
  
"[[Anxiety]]" ([[Fr]]. ''[[angoisse]]'') has long been recognised in [[psychiatry]] as one of the most common [[symptom]]s of mental disorder.  
+
[[Psychiatric]] descriptions of [[anxiety]] generally refer to both mental phenomena (apprehension, worry) and [[bodily]] phenomena (breathlessnes, palpitations, muscle tension, fatigue, dizziness, sweating and tremor).  
  
[[Psychiatric]] descriptions of [[anxiety]] generally refer to both mental phenomena (apprehension, worry) and bodily phenomena (breathlessnes, palpitations, muscle tension, fatigue, dizziness, sweating and tremor).  
+
[[Psychiatrist]]s also distinguish between generalised [[anxiety]] states, when "free-[[floating]] anxiety" is [[present]] most of the [[time]], and "[[panic]] attacks," which are "intermittent episodes of acute anxiety."<ref>Hughes, Jennifer. ''An [[Outline]] of Modern Psychiatry'', Chichester: Wiley, 1991. pp. 48-9</ref>
  
[[Psychiatrist]]s also distinguish between generalised [[anxiety]] states, when "free-floating anxiety" is present most of the time, and "panic attacks," which are "intermittent episodes of acute anxiety."<ref>Hughes, 1981: 48-9</ref>
+
==Sigmund Freud==
 +
The [[German]] term employed by [[Freud]] (''[[Angst]]'') can have the [[psychiatric]] [[sense]] described above, but is by no means an exclusively technical term, [[being]] also in common use in ordinary [[speech]].  
  
--
+
[[Freud]] developed two theories of [[anxiety]] during the course of his [[work]].  
 
 
The [[German]] term employed by [[Freud]] (''[[Angst]]'') can have the [[psychiatric]] sense described above, but is by no means an exclusively technical term, being also in common use in ordinary [[speech]].
 
 
 
[[Freud]] developed two theories of [[anxiety]] during the course of his work.  
 
  
 
From 1884 to 1925 he argued that [[neurotic]] [[anxiety]] is simply a transformation of [[sexual]] [[libido]] that has not been adequately [[discharge]]d.  
 
From 1884 to 1925 he argued that [[neurotic]] [[anxiety]] is simply a transformation of [[sexual]] [[libido]] that has not been adequately [[discharge]]d.  
  
In 1926, [[Freud]] argued that [[anxiety]] is a reaction to a "[[trauma]]tic situation," an experience of [[helplessness]] in the face of an accumulation of excitation that cannot be [[discharge]]d.  
+
In 1926, [[Freud]] argued that [[anxiety]] is a reaction to a "[[trauma]]tic [[situation]]," an [[experience]] of [[helplessness]] in the face of an accumulation of [[excitation]] that cannot be [[discharge]]d.  
  
[[Trauma]]tic situations are precipitated by "situations of danger" such as birth, [[loss]] of the [[mother]] as [[object]], [[loss]] of the [[object]]'s [[love]] and, above all, [[castration]].  
+
[[Trauma]]tic situations are precipitated by "situations of [[danger]]" such as [[birth]], [[loss]] of the [[mother]] as [[object]], [[loss]] of the [[object]]'s [[love]] and, above all, [[castration]].  
 
 
[[Freud]] distinguishes between "automatic anxiety," when the [[anxiety]] arises directly as a result of a [[trauma]]tic situation, and "anxiety as signal," when the [[anxiety]] is actively reproduced by the [[ego]] as a warning of an anticipated situation of danger.
 
 
 
 
 
---
 
  
 +
[[Freud]] distinguishes between "[[anxiety|automatic anxiety]]," when the [[anxiety]] arises directly as a result of a [[trauma]]tic situation, and "[[anxiety|anxiety as signal]]," when the [[anxiety]] is actively reproduced by the [[ego]] as a warning of an anticipated situation of danger.
  
 +
==Jacques Lacan==
 
In his early work, [[Lacan]] relates [[anxiety]] to the [[threat]] of [[fragmentation]] which the [[subject]] confronts in the [[mirror stage]].
 
In his early work, [[Lacan]] relates [[anxiety]] to the [[threat]] of [[fragmentation]] which the [[subject]] confronts in the [[mirror stage]].
  
It is only long after the [[mirror stage]], he argues, that these [[fantasy|fantasies]] of bodily dismemberment coalesce around the [[penis]], giving rise to [[castration]] [[anxiety]].<ref>Lacan, 1938: 44</ref>
+
It is only long after the [[mirror stage]], he argues, that these [[fantasy|fantasies]] of bodily dismemberment coalesce around the [[penis]], giving rise to [[castration]] [[anxiety]].<ref>{{1938}} p. 44</ref>
  
He also links [[anxiety]] with the [[fear]] of being engulfed by the devouring [[mother]].  
+
He also [[links]] [[anxiety]] with the [[fear]] of being engulfed by the devouring [[mother]].  
  
This theme (with its distinctly [[Klein]]ian tone) remains an important aspect of [[Lacan]]'s account of [[anxiety]] thereafter, and marks an apparent difference between [[Lacan]] and [[Freud]]: whereas [[Freud]] posits that one of the causes of [[anxiety]] is [[separation]] from the [[mother]], [[Lacan]] argues that it is precisely a [[lack]] of such [[separation]] which induces [[anxiety]].
+
This theme (with its distinctly [[Klein]]ian tone) remains an important aspect of [[Lacan]]'s account of [[anxiety]] thereafter, and marks an [[apparent]] [[difference]] between [[Lacan]] and [[Freud]]: whereas [[Freud]] posits that one of the causes of [[anxiety]] is [[separation]] from the [[mother]], [[Lacan]] argues that it is precisely a [[lack]] of such [[separation]] which induces [[anxiety]].
  
 +
==Real==
 +
After 1953, [[Lacan]] comes increasingly to articulate [[anxiety]] with his [[concept]] of the [[real]], a [[trauma]]tic element which remains [[external]] to [[symbolisation]], and hence which [[lacks]] any possible mediation.
  
---
+
This [[real]] is "the essential object which isn't an object any longer, but this something faced with which all [[words]] cease and all [[categories]] fail, the object of anxiety par excellence."<ref>{{S2}} p. 164</ref>
  
 +
==Imaginary==
 +
As well as linking [[anxiety]] with the [[real]], [[Lacan]] also locates it in the [[imaginary]] [[order]] and contrasts it with [[guilt]], which he situates in the [[symbolic]].<ref>{{L}} "[[Works of Jacques Lacan|Fetishism: The Symbolic, the Imaginary and the Real]]" (with W. Granoff), 1956. M. [[Balint]] (ed.), ''Perversions: [[Psychodynamics]] and [[Therapy]]'', New York: Random House, [[London]]: Tavistock. pp. 272-3</ref>
  
After 1953, [[Lacan]] comes increasingly to articulate [[anxiety]] with his concept of the [[real]], a [[trauma]]tic element which remains [[external]] to [[symbolisation], and hence which lacks any possible mediation.  
+
<blockquote>"Anxiety, as we [[know]], is always connected with a loss . .  . with a two-sided relation on the point of [[fading]] away to be superseded by something else, something which the [[patient]] cannot face without [[vertigo]]."<ref>{{L}} "[[Works of Jacques Lacan|Fetishism: The Symbolic, the Imaginary and the Real]]" (with W. Granoff), 1956. M. Balint (ed.), ''Perversions: Psychodynamics and Therapy'', New York: Random House, London: Tavistock. p. 273</ref></blockquote>
  
This [[real]] is "the essential object which isn't an object any longer, but this something faced with which all words cease and all categories fail, the object of anxiety par excellence."<ref>{{S2}} p.164</ref>
+
==Phobia==
 +
In the [[seminar]] of 1956-7 [[Lacan]] goes on to develop his [[theory]] of [[anxiety]] further, in the context of his [[discussion]] of [[phobia]].  
  
 +
[[Lacan]] argues that [[anxiety]] is the radical danger which the [[subject]] attempts to avoid at all costs, and that the various [[subject]]ive [[formation]]s encountered in [[psychoanalysis]], from [[phobia]]s to [[fetishism]], are protections against [[anxiety]].<ref>{{S4}} p. 23</ref>
  
--
+
[[Anxiety]] is thus present in all [[neurotic]] [[structure]]s, but is especially evident in [[phobia]].<ref>{{E}} p. 321</ref>
  
 +
Even a [[phobia]] is preferable to [[anxiety]];<ref>{{S4}} p. 345</ref> a [[phobia]] at least replaces [[anxiety]] with [[fear]] (which is focused on a [[particular]] [[object]] and thus may be [[symbolic|symbolically]] worked-through).<ref>{{S4}} p. 243-6</ref>
  
As well as linking [[anxiety]] with the [[real]], [[Lacan]] also locates it in the [[imaginary]] [[order]] and contrasts it with [[guilt]], which he situates in the [[symbolic]].<ref>Lacan, 1956b: 272-3</ref>
+
==Little Hans==
 +
In his [[analysis]] of the [[case]] of [[Little Hans]],<ref>{{F}} "[[Work of Sigmund Freud|Analysis of a Phobia in a Five-Year-Old Boy]]", 1909b. [[SE]] X, 3.</ref> [[Lacan]] argues that [[anxiety]] arises at that [[moment]] when the [[subject]] is poised between the [[imaginary]] [[preoedipal phase|preoedipal triangle]] and the [[Oedipal]] [[quaternary]].  
  
"Anxiety, as we know, is always connected with a loss  . .  . with a two-sided relation on the point of fading away to be superseded by something else, something which the patient cannot face without vertigo."<ref>Lacan, 1956b: 273</ref>
+
It is at this junction that [[Little Hans|Hans]]'s real [[penis]] makes itself felt in [[infantile]] [[masturbation]]; [[anxiety]] is produced because he can now measure the difference between that for which he is loved by the [[mother]] (his [[position]] as [[imaginary phallus]]) and that which he really has to give (his insignificant real [[organ]]).<ref>{{S4}} p.243</ref>  
  
 +
[[Anxiety]] is this point where the [[subject]] is suspended between a moment where he no longer [[knows]] where he is and a [[future]] where he will never again be able to refind himself.<ref>{{S4}} p.226</ref>
  
---
+
[[Hans]] would have been saved from this [[anxiety]] by the [[castrating]] [[intervention]] of the [[real]] [[father]], but this does not happen; the [[father]] fails to intervene to [[separate]] [[Hans]] from the [[mother]], and thus [[Hans]] develops a [[phobia]] as a [[substitute]] for this intervention.
  
 
+
Once again, what emerges from [[Lacan]]'s account of [[Little Hans]] is that it is not [[separation]] from the [[mother]] which gives rise to [[anxiety]], but failure to [[separation|separate]] from her.<ref>{{S4}} p. 319</ref>
In the [[seminar]] of 1956-7 [[Lacan]] goes on to develop his theory of [[anxiety]] further, in the context of his discussion of [[phobia]].
 
 
 
[[Lacan]] argues that [[anxiety]] is the radical danger which the [[subject]] attempts to avoid at all costs, and that the various subjective formations encountered in [[psychoanalysis]], from [[phobia]]s to [[fetishism]], are protections against [[anxiety]].<ref>{{S4}} p.23</ref>
 
 
 
Anxiety is thus present in all [[neurotic]] [[structure]]s, but is especially evident in [[phobia]].<ref>{{E}} p.321</ref>
 
 
 
Even a [[phobia]] is preferable to [[anxiety]];<ref>{{S4}} p.345</ref> a [[phobia]] at least replaces [[anxiety]] with [[fear]] (which is focused on a particular [[object]] and thus may be [[symbolic|symbolically]] worked-through).<ref>{{S4}} p.243-6</ref>
 
 
 
 
 
---
 
 
 
 
 
In his analysis of the case of [[Little Hans]],<ref>Freud, 1909b</ref> [[Lacan]] argues that [[anxiety]] arises at that moment when the [[subject]] is poised between the [[imaginary]] [[preoedipal phase|preoedipal triangle]] and the [[Oedipal]] [[quaternary]].
 
 
 
It is at this junction that [[Little Hans|Hans]]'s real [[penis]] makes itself felt in infantile masturbation; [[anxiety]] is produced because he can now measure the difference between that for which he is loved by the [[mother]] (his position as [[imaginary phallus]]) and that which he really has to give (his insignificant real organ).<ref>{{S4}} p.243</ref>
 
 
 
[[Anxiety]] is this point where the [[subject]] is suspended between a moment where he no longer knows where he is and a future where he will never again be able to refind himself.<ref>{{S4}} p.226</ref>
 
 
 
[[Hans]] would have been saved from this [[anxiety]] by the [[castrating]] intervention of the [[real]] [[father]], but this does not happen; the [[father]] fails to intervene to separate [[Hans]] from the [[mother]], and thus [[Hans]] develops a [[phobia]] as a substitute for this intervention.
 
 
 
Once again, what emerges from [[Lacan]]'s account of [[Little Hans]] is that it is not separation from the [[mother]] which gives rise to [[anxiety]], but failure to separate from her.<ref>{{S4}} p.319</ref>
 
  
 
Consequently, [[castration]], far from being the principal source of [[anxiety]], is actually what saves the [[subject]] from [[anxiety]].
 
Consequently, [[castration]], far from being the principal source of [[anxiety]], is actually what saves the [[subject]] from [[anxiety]].
  
---
+
==Desire==
 
+
In the [[seminar]] of 1960-1,  [[Lacan]] stresses the [[relationship]] of [[anxiety]] to [[desire]].
 
 
In the [[seminar]] of 1960-1,  [[Lacan]] stresses the relationship of [[anxiety]] to [[desire]].
 
  
 
[[Anxiety]] is a way to sustain [[desire]] when the [[object]] is [[missing]].
 
[[Anxiety]] is a way to sustain [[desire]] when the [[object]] is [[missing]].
  
[[Desire]] is a remedy for [[anxiety]], easier to bear than [[anxiety]].<ref>{{S8}} p.430</ref>
+
[[Desire]] is a remedy for [[anxiety]], easier to bear than [[anxiety]].<ref>{{S8}} p. 430</ref>
 
 
He also argues that the source of [[anxiety]] is not always internal to the [[subject]], but can often come from another, just as it is transmitted from one animal to another in a herd; "if anxiety is a signal, it means it can come from another."<ref>{{S8}} p.427</ref>
 
  
This is why the [[analyst]] must not allow his own [[anxiety]] to interfere with the [[treatment]], a requirement which he is only able to meet because he maintains a [[desire]] of his own, the [[desire]] of the [[analyst]].<ref>{{S8}} p.430</ref>
+
He also argues that the source of [[anxiety]] is not always [[internal]] to the [[subject]], but can often come from [[another]], just as it is transmitted from one [[animal]] to another in a herd; "if anxiety is a [[signal]], it means it can come from another."<ref>{{S8}} p. 427</ref>
  
---
+
This is why the [[analyst]] must not allow his own [[anxiety]] to interfere with the [[treatment]], a requirement which he is only able to meet because he maintains a [[desire]] of his own, the [[desire]] of the [[analyst]].<ref>{{S8}} p. 430</ref>
  
In the [[seminar]] of 1962-3, entitled simply '[[Anxiety]]', [[Lacan]] argues that [[anxiety]] is an [[affect]], not an emotion, and furthermore that it is the only [[affect]] which is beyond all doubt, which is not deceptive.<ref>{{S11}} p.41</ref>  
+
==Truth==
 +
In the [[seminar]] of 1962-3, entitled simply "[[Anxiety]]", [[Lacan]] argues that [[anxiety]] is an [[affect]], not an [[affect|emotion]], and furthermore that it is the only [[affect]] which is beyond all [[doubt]], which is not [[truth|deceptive]].<ref>{{S11}} p. 41</ref>  
  
Whereas [[Freud]] distinguished between [[fear]] (which is focused on a specific object) and [[anxiety]] (which is not), [[Lacan]] now argues that anxiety is not without an [[object]] (''n'est pas sans objet''); it simply involves a different kind of [[object]], an [[object]] which cannot be [[symbolise]]d in the same way as all other [[object]]s.  
+
==''Objet (petit) a''==
 +
Whereas [[Freud]] distinguished between [[fear]] (which is focused on a specific object) and [[anxiety]] (which is not), [[Lacan]] now argues that [[anxiety]] is not without an [[object]] (''n'est pas sans [[objet]]''); it simply involves a different kind of [[object]], an [[object]] which cannot be [[symbolise]]d in the same way as all other [[object]]s.  
  
This [[object]] is ''[[objet petit a]]'', the [[object-cause of desire]], and [[anxiety]] appears when something appears in the place of this [[object]].  
+
This [[object]] is ''[[objet petit a]]'', the [[object-cause of desire]], and [[anxiety]] appears when something appears in the [[place]] of this [[object]].  
  
 
[[Anxiety]] arises when the [[subject]] is confronted by the [[desire]] of the [[Other]] and does not know what [[object]] he is for that [[desire]].
 
[[Anxiety]] arises when the [[subject]] is confronted by the [[desire]] of the [[Other]] and does not know what [[object]] he is for that [[desire]].
  
--
+
==Lack==
 
 
 
It is also in this [[seminar]] that [[Lacan]] links [[anxiety]] to the concept of [[lack]].
 
It is also in this [[seminar]] that [[Lacan]] links [[anxiety]] to the concept of [[lack]].
  
All [[desire]] arises from [[lack]], and [[anxiety]] arises when this [[lack]] is itself [[lack]]ing; [[anxiety]] is the [[lack] of a [[lack]].
+
All [[desire]] arises from [[lack]], and [[anxiety]] arises when this [[lack]] is itself [[lack]]ing; [[anxiety]] is the [[lack]] of a [[lack]].
  
[[Anxiety]] is not the [[absence]] of the [[breast]], but its enveloping [[presence]]; it is the possibility of its [[absence]] which is, in fact, that which saves us from [[anxiety]].  
+
[[Anxiety]] is not the [[absence]] of the [[breast]], but its enveloping [[presence]]; it is the possibility of its [[absence]] which is, in fact, that which saves us from [[anxiety]].  
  
 
[[Acting out]] and [[passage to the act]] are last [[defence]]s against [[anxiety]].
 
[[Acting out]] and [[passage to the act]] are last [[defence]]s against [[anxiety]].
  
 
+
==Mirror Stage==
---
 
 
 
 
 
 
[[Anxiety]] is also linked to the [[mirror stage]].  
 
[[Anxiety]] is also linked to the [[mirror stage]].  
  
Even in the usually comforting experience of seeing one's reflection in the mirror there can occur a moment when the [[specular image]] is modified and suddenly seems strange to us.  
+
Even in the usually comforting experience of [[seeing]] one's [[reflection]] in the [[mirror]] there can occur a moment when the [[specular image]] is modified and suddenly seems strange to us.  
 
 
In this way, [[Lacan]] links [[anxiety]] to [[Freud]]'s concept of the ''[[uncanny]]''.<ref>Freud, 1919h</ref>
 
 
 
 
 
--
 
  
 +
In this way, [[Lacan]] links [[anxiety]] to [[Freud]]'s concept of the ''[[uncanny]]''.<ref>{{F}} "[[The Uncanny]]", 1919h. [[SE]] XIV, 161.</ref>
  
Whereas the [[seminar]] of 1962-3 is largely concerned with [[Freud]]'s second theory of [[anxiety]] ([[anxiety]] as [[sign]]al), in the [[seminar]] of 1974-5 [[Lacan]] appears to return to the first [[Freud]]ian theory of [[anxiety]] ([[anxiety]] as transformed [[libido]]).
+
==''Jouissance''==
 +
Whereas the [[seminar]] of 1962-3 is largely concerned with [[Freud]]'s second theory of [[anxiety]] ([[anxiety]] as [[sign]]al)), in the [[seminar]] of 1974-5 [[Lacan]] appears to [[return]] to the first [[Freud]]ian theory of [[anxiety]] ([[anxiety]] as transformed [[libido]]).
  
Thus he comments that [[anxiety]] is that which exists in the interior of the [[body]] when the [[body]] is overcome with [[phallus|phallic]] ''[[jouissance]]''.<ref>Lacan, 1974-5: seminar of 17 December 1974</ref><ref>anxiety 41, 73 [[Seminar XI]]</ref>
+
Thus he comments that [[anxiety]] is that which [[exists]] in the interior of the [[body]] when the [[body]] is overcome with [[phallus|phallic]] ''[[jouissance]]''.<ref>{{L}} ''[[Seminar XXII|Le Séminaire. Livre XXII. RSI, 1974-5]]'', published in ''[[Ornicar?]]'', nos. 2-5, 1975. [[Seminar]] of 17 December 1974</ref>
  
 
==See Also==
 
==See Also==
 +
{{See}}
 +
* [[Absence]]
 +
* [[Castration]]
 +
* [[Desire]]
 +
||
 
* [[Fragmented body]]
 
* [[Fragmented body]]
 +
* ''[[Jouissance]]''
 +
* [[Lack]]
 +
||
 
* [[Mirror stage]]
 
* [[Mirror stage]]
 +
* [[Mother]]
 +
* [[Other]]
 +
||
 +
* [[Neurosis]]
 +
* [[Phobia]]
 +
* [[Structure]]
 +
{{Also}}
  
 
== References ==
 
== References ==
 +
<div style="font-size:11px" class="references-small">
 
<references/>
 
<references/>
 
+
</div>
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[[Category:Psychoanalysis]]
 
[[Category:Jacques Lacan]]
 
[[Category:Jacques Lacan]]
[[Category:Terms]]
+
[[Category:Practice]]
 +
[[Category:Treatment]]
 
[[Category:Dictionary]]
 
[[Category:Dictionary]]
 
[[Category:Concepts]]
 
[[Category:Concepts]]
[[Category:Psychoanalysis]]
+
[[Category:Terms]]
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{{OK}}
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__NOTOC__

Latest revision as of 22:00, 23 May 2019

French: angoisse

Psychiatry

"Anxiety" has long been recognised in psychiatry as one of the most common symptoms of mental disorder.

Psychiatric descriptions of anxiety generally refer to both mental phenomena (apprehension, worry) and bodily phenomena (breathlessnes, palpitations, muscle tension, fatigue, dizziness, sweating and tremor).

Psychiatrists also distinguish between generalised anxiety states, when "free-floating anxiety" is present most of the time, and "panic attacks," which are "intermittent episodes of acute anxiety."[1]

Sigmund Freud

The German term employed by Freud (Angst) can have the psychiatric sense described above, but is by no means an exclusively technical term, being also in common use in ordinary speech.

Freud developed two theories of anxiety during the course of his work.

From 1884 to 1925 he argued that neurotic anxiety is simply a transformation of sexual libido that has not been adequately discharged.

In 1926, Freud argued that anxiety is a reaction to a "traumatic situation," an experience of helplessness in the face of an accumulation of excitation that cannot be discharged.

Traumatic situations are precipitated by "situations of danger" such as birth, loss of the mother as object, loss of the object's love and, above all, castration.

Freud distinguishes between "automatic anxiety," when the anxiety arises directly as a result of a traumatic situation, and "anxiety as signal," when the anxiety is actively reproduced by the ego as a warning of an anticipated situation of danger.

Jacques Lacan

In his early work, Lacan relates anxiety to the threat of fragmentation which the subject confronts in the mirror stage.

It is only long after the mirror stage, he argues, that these fantasies of bodily dismemberment coalesce around the penis, giving rise to castration anxiety.[2]

He also links anxiety with the fear of being engulfed by the devouring mother.

This theme (with its distinctly Kleinian tone) remains an important aspect of Lacan's account of anxiety thereafter, and marks an apparent difference between Lacan and Freud: whereas Freud posits that one of the causes of anxiety is separation from the mother, Lacan argues that it is precisely a lack of such separation which induces anxiety.

Real

After 1953, Lacan comes increasingly to articulate anxiety with his concept of the real, a traumatic element which remains external to symbolisation, and hence which lacks any possible mediation.

This real is "the essential object which isn't an object any longer, but this something faced with which all words cease and all categories fail, the object of anxiety par excellence."[3]

Imaginary

As well as linking anxiety with the real, Lacan also locates it in the imaginary order and contrasts it with guilt, which he situates in the symbolic.[4]

"Anxiety, as we know, is always connected with a loss . . . with a two-sided relation on the point of fading away to be superseded by something else, something which the patient cannot face without vertigo."[5]

Phobia

In the seminar of 1956-7 Lacan goes on to develop his theory of anxiety further, in the context of his discussion of phobia.

Lacan argues that anxiety is the radical danger which the subject attempts to avoid at all costs, and that the various subjective formations encountered in psychoanalysis, from phobias to fetishism, are protections against anxiety.[6]

Anxiety is thus present in all neurotic structures, but is especially evident in phobia.[7]

Even a phobia is preferable to anxiety;[8] a phobia at least replaces anxiety with fear (which is focused on a particular object and thus may be symbolically worked-through).[9]

Little Hans

In his analysis of the case of Little Hans,[10] Lacan argues that anxiety arises at that moment when the subject is poised between the imaginary preoedipal triangle and the Oedipal quaternary.

It is at this junction that Hans's real penis makes itself felt in infantile masturbation; anxiety is produced because he can now measure the difference between that for which he is loved by the mother (his position as imaginary phallus) and that which he really has to give (his insignificant real organ).[11]

Anxiety is this point where the subject is suspended between a moment where he no longer knows where he is and a future where he will never again be able to refind himself.[12]

Hans would have been saved from this anxiety by the castrating intervention of the real father, but this does not happen; the father fails to intervene to separate Hans from the mother, and thus Hans develops a phobia as a substitute for this intervention.

Once again, what emerges from Lacan's account of Little Hans is that it is not separation from the mother which gives rise to anxiety, but failure to separate from her.[13]

Consequently, castration, far from being the principal source of anxiety, is actually what saves the subject from anxiety.

Desire

In the seminar of 1960-1, Lacan stresses the relationship of anxiety to desire.

Anxiety is a way to sustain desire when the object is missing.

Desire is a remedy for anxiety, easier to bear than anxiety.[14]

He also argues that the source of anxiety is not always internal to the subject, but can often come from another, just as it is transmitted from one animal to another in a herd; "if anxiety is a signal, it means it can come from another."[15]

This is why the analyst must not allow his own anxiety to interfere with the treatment, a requirement which he is only able to meet because he maintains a desire of his own, the desire of the analyst.[16]

Truth

In the seminar of 1962-3, entitled simply "Anxiety", Lacan argues that anxiety is an affect, not an emotion, and furthermore that it is the only affect which is beyond all doubt, which is not deceptive.[17]

Objet (petit) a

Whereas Freud distinguished between fear (which is focused on a specific object) and anxiety (which is not), Lacan now argues that anxiety is not without an object (n'est pas sans objet); it simply involves a different kind of object, an object which cannot be symbolised in the same way as all other objects.

This object is objet petit a, the object-cause of desire, and anxiety appears when something appears in the place of this object.

Anxiety arises when the subject is confronted by the desire of the Other and does not know what object he is for that desire.

Lack

It is also in this seminar that Lacan links anxiety to the concept of lack.

All desire arises from lack, and anxiety arises when this lack is itself lacking; anxiety is the lack of a lack.

Anxiety is not the absence of the breast, but its enveloping presence; it is the possibility of its absence which is, in fact, that which saves us from anxiety.

Acting out and passage to the act are last defences against anxiety.

Mirror Stage

Anxiety is also linked to the mirror stage.

Even in the usually comforting experience of seeing one's reflection in the mirror there can occur a moment when the specular image is modified and suddenly seems strange to us.

In this way, Lacan links anxiety to Freud's concept of the uncanny.[18]

Jouissance

Whereas the seminar of 1962-3 is largely concerned with Freud's second theory of anxiety (anxiety as signal)), in the seminar of 1974-5 Lacan appears to return to the first Freudian theory of anxiety (anxiety as transformed libido).

Thus he comments that anxiety is that which exists in the interior of the body when the body is overcome with phallic jouissance.[19]

See Also

References

  1. Hughes, Jennifer. An Outline of Modern Psychiatry, Chichester: Wiley, 1991. pp. 48-9
  2. Lacan, Jacques. Les complexes familiaux dans la formation de l'individu. Essai d'analyse d'une fonction en psychologie, Paris: Navarin, 1984 [1938]. p. 44
  3. Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar. Book II. The Ego in Freud's Theory and in the Technique of Psychoanalysis, 1954-55. Trans. Sylvana Tomaselli. New York: Nortion; Cambridge: Cambridge Unviersity Press, 1988. p. 164
  4. Lacan, Jacques. "Fetishism: The Symbolic, the Imaginary and the Real" (with W. Granoff), 1956. M. Balint (ed.), Perversions: Psychodynamics and Therapy, New York: Random House, London: Tavistock. pp. 272-3
  5. Lacan, Jacques. "Fetishism: The Symbolic, the Imaginary and the Real" (with W. Granoff), 1956. M. Balint (ed.), Perversions: Psychodynamics and Therapy, New York: Random House, London: Tavistock. p. 273
  6. Lacan, Jacques. Le Séminaire. Livre IV. La relation d'objet, 19566-57. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. Paris: Seuil, 1991. p. 23
  7. Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. p. 321
  8. Lacan, Jacques. Le Séminaire. Livre IV. La relation d'objet, 19566-57. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. Paris: Seuil, 1991. p. 345
  9. Lacan, Jacques. Le Séminaire. Livre IV. La relation d'objet, 19566-57. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. Paris: Seuil, 1991. p. 243-6
  10. Freud, Sigmund. "Analysis of a Phobia in a Five-Year-Old Boy", 1909b. SE X, 3.
  11. Lacan, Jacques. Le Séminaire. Livre IV. La relation d'objet, 19566-57. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. Paris: Seuil, 1991. p.243
  12. Lacan, Jacques. Le Séminaire. Livre IV. La relation d'objet, 19566-57. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. Paris: Seuil, 1991. p.226
  13. Lacan, Jacques. Le Séminaire. Livre IV. La relation d'objet, 19566-57. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. Paris: Seuil, 1991. p. 319
  14. Lacan, Jacques. Le Séminaire. Livre VIII. Le transfert, 1960-61. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. Paris: Seuil, 1991. p. 430
  15. Lacan, Jacques. Le Séminaire. Livre VIII. Le transfert, 1960-61. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. Paris: Seuil, 1991. p. 427
  16. Lacan, Jacques. Le Séminaire. Livre VIII. Le transfert, 1960-61. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. Paris: Seuil, 1991. p. 430
  17. Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar. Book XI. The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, 1964. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Hogarth Press and Institute of Psycho-Analysis, 1977. p. 41
  18. Freud, Sigmund. "The Uncanny", 1919h. SE XIV, 161.
  19. Lacan, Jacques. Le Séminaire. Livre XXII. RSI, 1974-5, published in Ornicar?, nos. 2-5, 1975. Seminar of 17 December 1974