Erwin Schrödinger in the Psychiatric Hospital

Diogenes 51 (2):45-61 (2004)
The meeting of rationalities is the core of the psychoanalytic treatment of madness. We see madness as a field of research in the area of historical, political and natural disasters where the social bond disintegrates, language slips away, the unimaginable happens and tried and tested rationalities fail. Faced with the irrationality of a behaviour or delusional episode, we need to find the ‘reason for this unreason’. The patient is a searcher in a disaster area, looking for someone to share the craziness of what is discovered. An analysis of madness more often than not consists of discovering excised – not repressed – truths that are revealed during a heuristic journey taking place over often turbulent sessions. It is the end result of a continually surprising encounter with the rationalities carried by the analyst emerging from similar areas of disturbance, bringing to light common points of view, or transcultural invariants. Based on a brief clinical exchange with an African patient, in which the man who discovered the equations of quantum mechanics had a role, the author draws on the work of Schrödinger with its warnings not to give in to objectivization when we are struggling for meaning
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DOI 10.1177/0392192104044273
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