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The term "[[neurosis]]" ([[Fr]]. ''[[névrose]]'') is originally a [[psychiatric]] term which came to denote, in the eighteen-century, a whole range of nervous disorders defined by a wide variety of [[symptom]]s.
 
 
[[Freud]] uses the term in a number of ways, sometimes as a general term for all mental disorders in his early work, and sometimes to denote a specific class of mental disorders (i.e. in opposiiton to [[psychosis]]).
 
 
--
 
 
In [[Lacan]]'s work, the term [[neurosis]] always figures in opposition to [[psychosis]] and [[perversion]], and refers not to a set of [[symptom]]s but to a particular [[clinical structure]].
 
 
This use of the term to designate a [[structure]] problematizes [[Freud]]'s distinction between [[neurosis]] and normality.
 
 
[[Freud]] bases this distinction purely on a quantitative factors ("psychoanalytic research finds no fundamental but only quantitative distinction between normal and neurotic life"<ref>Freud. 1990a: SE V, 373</ref>), which is not a [[structural]] distinction.
 
 
In [[structural]] terms, therefore, there is no distinction between the normal [[subject]] and the [[neurotic]].
 
 
This [[Lacanian]] nosology identifies three [[clinical structures]]: [[neurosis]], [[psychosis]] and [[perversion]], in which there is no position of "mental health" which could be called normal.<ref>{{S8}} p.374-5; {{E}} p.163</ref>
 
 
The normal [[structure]], in the sense of that which is found in the statistical majority of the population, is [[neurosis]], and "mental health" is an illusory ideal of wholeness which can never be attained because the [[subject]] is essentially [[split]].
 
 
THus whereas [[Freud]] sees [[neurosis]] as an illness that can be cured, [[Lacan]] sees [[neurosis]] as a [[structure]] that cannot be altered.
 
 
The aim of [[psychoanalytic treatment]] is therefore not the eradication of the [[neurosis]] but the modification of the [[subject]]'s position ''vis-à-vis'' the [[neurosis]].
 
 
--
 
 
According to [[Lacan]], "the structure of a neurosis is essentially a question."<ref>{{S3}} p.174</ref>
 
 
[[Neurosis]] "is a question that being poses for the subject."<ref>{{E}} p.168</ref>
 
 
The two forms of [[neurosis]] ([[hysteria]] and [[obsessional neurosis]]) are distinguished by the content of the question.
 
 
The question of the [[hysteric]] ("Am I a man or a woman?") relates to one's sex, whereas the question of the [[obsessional neurosis]] ("To be or not to be?") relates to the contingency of one's own [[existence]].
 
 
These two questions (the hysterical question about sexual identity, and the obsessional question about death/existence) "are as it happens the two ultimate questions that have precisely no solution in the signifier.  This is what gives neurotics this existential value."<ref>{{S3}} p.190</ref>>
 
-- At times [[Lacan]] lists [[phobia]] as a [[neurosis]] alongside [[hysteria]] and [[obsessional neurosis]], thus raising the question of whether there are not two but three forms of [[neurosis]].<ref>{{E}} p.168</ref>
 
  
  
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These two questions (the [[hysteria|hysterical]] question about [[sexual identity]], and the [[obsessional neurosis|obsessional]] question about [[death]]/[[existence]]) "are as it happens the two ultimate questions that have precisely no solution in the signifier. This is what gives neurotics their existential values.<ref>{{S3}} p.190</ref>
 
These two questions (the [[hysteria|hysterical]] question about [[sexual identity]], and the [[obsessional neurosis|obsessional]] question about [[death]]/[[existence]]) "are as it happens the two ultimate questions that have precisely no solution in the signifier. This is what gives neurotics their existential values.<ref>{{S3}} p.190</ref>
  
==See Also==
 
* [[Hysteria]]
 
* [[Obsessional neurosis]]
 
* [[phobia]]
 
* [[structure]]
 
* [[symptom]]
 
  
==References==
 
<references/>
 
  
[[Category:Neurosis]]
+
{{Encore}} pp. 86-87
[[Category:Treatment]]
 
[[Category:Psychoanalysis]]
 
[[Category:Terms]]
 
[[Category:Concepts]]
 
[[Category:Jacques Lacan]]
 

Latest revision as of 07:31, 12 November 2006




is used in psychoanalysis to describe a number of nervous disorders.

Jacques Lacan

For Lacan, the term 'neurosis' refers not to a set of (behavioral or psychosomatic) symptoms but to a particular clinical structure.

Lacan identifies three clinical structures:

Psychoanalytic Treatment

Freud argued that neurosis was an illness that could be cured.

Lacan argues that 'mental health' is an illusory idea of wholeness which can never be attained because the subject is essentially split.

The aim of psychoanalytic treatment is not the eradication of the neurosis but the modification of the subject's position vis-a-vis the neurosis.

The Question

According to Lacan, "the structure of a neurosis is essentially a question."[1]

Neurosis "is a question that being poses for the subject."[2]

The two forms of neurosis (hysteria and obsessional neurosis) are distinguished by the content of the question.

The question of the hysteric ('Am I a man or a woman?') relates to one's sex, whereas the question of obsessional neurosis ('To be or not to be?') relates to the contingency of one's own existence.

These two questions (the hysterical question about sexual identity, and the obsessional question about death/existence) "are as it happens the two ultimate questions that have precisely no solution in the signifier. This is what gives neurotics their existential values.[3]

See Also

References

  1. Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar. Book III. The Psychoses, 1955-56. Trans. Russell Grigg. London: Routledge, 1993. p.174
  2. Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. p.168
  3. Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar. Book III. The Psychoses, 1955-56. Trans. Russell Grigg. London: Routledge, 1993. p.190

The term 'neurosis' (névrose) is used in psychoanalysis to describe a number of nervous disorders.

Jacques Lacan

For Lacan, the term 'neurosis' refers not to a set of (behavioral or psychosomatic) symptoms but to a particular clinical structure.

Lacan identifies three clinical structures:

Psychoanalytic Treatment

Freud argued that neurosis was an illness that could be cured.

Lacan argues that 'mental health' is an illusory idea of wholeness which can never be attained because the subject is essentially split.

The aim of psychoanalytic treatment is not the eradication of the neurosis but the modification of the subject's position vis-a-vis the neurosis.

The Question

According to Lacan, "the structure of a neurosis is essentially a question."[1]

Neurosis "is a question that being poses for the subject."[2]

The two forms of neurosis (hysteria and obsessional neurosis) are distinguished by the content of the question.

The question of the hysteric ('Am I a man or a woman?') relates to one's sex, whereas the question of obsessional neurosis ('To be or not to be?') relates to the contingency of one's own existence.

These two questions (the hysterical question about sexual identity, and the obsessional question about death/existence) "are as it happens the two ultimate questions that have precisely no solution in the signifier. This is what gives neurotics their existential values.[3]


Index
  • Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar. Book III. The Psychoses, 1955-56. Trans. Russell Grigg. London: Routledge, 1993. p.174
  • Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. p.168
  • Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar. Book III. The Psychoses, 1955-56. Trans. Russell Grigg. London: Routledge, 1993. p.190