Reinterpreting Psychoneurosis to Ascertain Mass Pathology in Civilized Society
Asian Research Journal of Arts & Social Sciences,
During the psychoanalytic discovery and investigation of Psychoneurosis, theoretical scaffoldings offered by Freudian theory were expansive and rich but still incomplete. Amongst the Neo–Freudians, Fromm began unearthing the psychopathology of the society under the heavy influence of Marx. Fromm remarked that the grown-up patient was not a child but an alienated adult who was seen as the neurotic. Feelings of inadequacy, worthlessness and inhibition occurred because the patient did not experience himself as the subject and originator of his own acts and experiences. Alienation had thus caused the neuroses to occur. Ushering in ‘spiritual liberation’ along with complete change of the ‘economic social constellation’ for Fromm were the necessary prerequisites before envisioning a cure of societal pathologies rooted in the contemporary mode of production. Freud on the other hand was sceptical about the application of psychoanalysis to civilization. He ringed in caution to the application of systems of knowledge developed at the individual level when projected to more global levels. Diagnosis of a “collective neurosis” would be tedious since no starting point associated with its development could emerge as the fixation point. Another hurdle that needed to be addressed according to Freud was that even if a substantial system of knowledge did take shape its implementation would be a herculean task. It would take great skill and courage to compel a community to become aware of its blind spots and become available to therapy. Thus, the growth and development of Psychoneurosis had charted a trajectory from the unexplored abysmal depths of the psyche to the more gross levels of societal productions. This paper attempts to establish links between the classic concept of Psychoneurosis and the larger gamut of modern-day society’s psychic reflections.
- collective neurosis
How to Cite
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