Psychosis presents difficulties for the subject and the clinician. The psychotic
subject is affected by a condition which may leave him or her seriously
undermined in their ability to undertake the ordinary everyday activities
which are prescribed for human exchange. In spite of the fact that one can
have a psychotic structure it does not of itself necessarily mean that a person
is precluded from leading a relatively normal existence. Indeed some people
who have such a structure have become artists, politicians, doctors and so on.
In fact they are found in every walk of life. As I will be showing in the course
of this paper all of us have a structure which is a generalised structure of
foreclosure and neurosis or psychosis are specific and different responses to
this structure. People with a psychotic structure do not always suffer a
clinical psychosis and they can live their lives in a 'pre-psychotic' phase,
without anyone becoming aware of the potential difficulties which might arise
for them. If a breakdown does occur then everything is changed and this can
have serious consequences, either for a long or short period of time.
Psychiatrists to-day have very powerful drugs at their disposal which can
improve the quality of life for a psychotic to a very great extent, and this has
made a significant difference for a lot of people. Psychiatry does not however
have the wherewithal to bring about a cure and one question that I will
address in this paper is to see how psychoanalysis can deal with psychosis and
whether or not it can offer an alternative which is more effective from the
point of view of the psychotic patient.
The other question that I will address is whether or not it is possible for the
person with a psychotic structure to cure himself or herself if they have a