From Alcohol to Abstinence, Denial of Internal Reality and Split of Self

The Case of Thomas
By Mathieu Moreau

Many authors in psychoanalytic psychopathology have pointed out the difficulty for alcoholic dependent subjects to reconcile two contradictory psychic elements. Opposite couples seem to govern their psychic lives as the oscillation between megalomania and inhibition, omnipotence and submission, disappearance of self in alcoholism and concealment of self in sobriety. In this article, the author seeks to show, through the clinical situation of Thomas, that abstinence does not alter such a psychic organisation. Indeed, this difficulty in linking or reconciling two contradictory psychic elements seems to persist. This would account for the split of the self that would result from a denial of internal reality. For Thomas, the questioning on the origin and the highlighting of a fantasy of return to the womb could build the draft of a subjective position. Finally, we will discuss a return of psychic bonding capacity through the notion of “unconscious transplant”.

  • split of self
  • denial
  • internal reality
  • unconscious
  • alcohol
  • abstinence
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