Hugo Lerner: being a teenager is a mental way

Sigmund Freud is dead? On the contrary, he lives in the heart and the unconscious of many psychoanalysts and patients of the world. A significant number of them are Argentines who, in turn, are mostly Buenos Aires. And a clear example of a critical admiration with the founder is Hugo Lerner, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst and author of the brand new Beyond the neurosis. The convulsed psychoanalyst practice (Editorial Place). On the problems of this era in the office and in society, the adolescent world, families, among other topics, Lerner speaks in this interview.

– Who says and why, that Freud has died?

–Freud is still very valid. He did not die. What needs to be done is to question some of his concepts since he was a man of the early twentieth century. You cannot be asked to have taken absolutely all the elements involved in the production of subjectivity, of the constitution of the human subject. If you do not question Freud, his concepts are not enough to account for the problems of gender identity and sexual identity, like so many other things. In the same way, the Oedipus complex it serves to understand the structuring as a linking plot of psychism. But if it does not open, we could not understand what happens today with new families: two mothers, two fathers, someone who donates cells, someone who lends the belly, and another who raises the boy. Who is the mother? So, I think that psychoanalysis is a good tool to understand the human subject, to help him, if he does not aggiorna, there he does die. But not Freud, psychoanalysis dies.

– Is there post Freudism?

– Yes, yes totally. But first read Freud, question it, get angry, accept it. Donald Winnicot It came from pediatrics, it was analyzed with James Starchey, who compiled Freud's work. He says: "Donald, you quote Freud badly, do not do it verbatim." "James, everyone reads Freud and generates his own internal Freud," Winnicott replied. It is very difficult to think that a human science is only sustained in a single author building. That had multiple ramifications. We are all post Freudians.

– Regarding narcissism, do you consider that we live in a particular narcissistic era?

lazy square - Hugo Lerner: being a teenager is a mental way

Hugo Lerner
Photo: Rolando Andrade Stracuzzi

– In strictly psychoanalytic terms, yes. The current problems have much more to do with those that affect narcissism than the classic neuroses. The self is constituted according to identifying models and lately I am giving a lot of place to how the socio-historical context intervenes in the constitution of the self and the subject. In the Argentina crisis of the year 2001, 2002, for example, there was fear of social dissolution, much disturbance in the socioeconomic situation. Look at how the contextual intervenes in the constitution of subjectivity and in what would be atrophic narcissism, which generates structure: there was a huge increase in consultations for depression in Argentina, above 50%. For a long time, psychoanalysis did not give importance to the constitution of the subject in relation to the socio-historical context. Today Yes.

– And what has increased in the current office?

Look also

- Hugo Lerner: being a teenager is a mental way

– We are in a time in which societies are going through moments of great instability worldwide, there are other factors such as new technologies. Before, people wrote letters. There was a wait and a ghostly world of how it was going to be. Today, communication can be instantaneous and when they don't answer a WhatsApp you get anxious and you say "what's up, it's checked and he didn't answer me …", or "he doesn't answer me an email". How does context intervene in subjectivity? We have to ask ourselves as psychoanalysts how this intervenes today in adolescence. Today, there are more narcissistic problems than neurotics. Not only is it my reading, it is that of many colleagues. Pathologies of emptiness, depression, which is the second cause of disease worldwide, behind heart disease. The depressed says I feel bad, I'm not worth it, my life has no meaning, the ideal of the self is dictating things it can't reach. Self-esteem is down. All these are derived from the narcissism that is failing. What would be called pathological narcissism.

– In your book you dedicate key pages to adolescence. When does it start, when does it end?

Look also

- Hugo Lerner: being a teenager is a mental way

–Answering yourself about the beginning is a bit easier. Adolescence is a relatively new concept in the history of mankind, the ancients did not have this concept, it passed from childhood to adulthood through rites of initiation. According to some authors, adolescence begins to take a lot, a lot of pregnancies from the Second World War, where there is no longer a crisis, a situation of philosophical crisis, and adolescence begins to take a place in the world of culture. The propaganda is aimed at the adolescent of both the well-off sector and those who do not have something aspirational. In some societies, especially developed and in very well-off classes, adolescence has extended to absurd places, 28 years, 29 years. Because adolescence is not just an age stage, it is a mode of mental functioning.

-Who is guilty?

Look also

- Hugo Lerner: being a teenager is a mental way

–Not the teenager. There are real context situations that are causing this. Let's look at the case of the children. There are two types, those of the lower class, who neither work nor study because they have no concrete possibilities because of a socioeconomic situation that does not allow it. But there are also the children of the well-off classes who stay stuck to the network game, do not finish school, do not work, or have projects. There may be a problem but there is also a socio-historical context that does not generate a possibility of putting together an ideal of saying: "If you do this, you will achieve that."

Look also

- Hugo Lerner: being a teenager is a mental way

–Changed the ideals, the projects?

-In the era of modernity, the teenager had as a project to grow, marry, have children, have a family. Today, there is a teenager more associated with enjoyment, immediacy, having fun, youth "Cinzano and Gancia." The teenager has been prolonged for several reasons. In part, because the culture has exalted the adolescent, and the passage of time, the old man is considered as waste.

–You say in your book that teenagers seek recognition. Isn't it something we all look for?

-Yes. Everybody. But identity structuring and consolidation is very strong in adolescence. I seek recognition here, that you recognize me. And you look for me to recognize you. If you did not feel recognized and neither did I, it will hit us badly but we will not destroy ourselves, because we have many other significant figures that give us an image of us: the children, the couple, the friends. In adolescence, being recognized is, to tell you in some way, based on the structuring of your own identity. It is the evolution of his own subjectivity, it is very much in relation to the recognition he has of him. If not, why do you think the adolescent's personal arrangement takes so much place. How many things are aimed at the teenage world on television! We are not going to fall apart if we are adults, if we have consolidated our identity, but in adolescence that is sought: the confirmation of one's own subjectivity, the identity that is being shaped.

Look also

- Hugo Lerner: being a teenager is a mental way

-It is very common to listen to bipolar qualification in the street in very different areas. Is bipolarity a psychoanalytic category or is it borrowed from psychiatry?

-It is not a category that psychoanalysis addresses. I approached her for, precisely, the excess that there was regarding the excess in the diagnosis about bipolarity. Mental health has gone through fashions. When I trained, they were all psychopaths. Before that they were all hysterical or hysterical. Then they were borderline. And in recent years bipolarity appeared, strongly. You ask me if it exists. Yes, it exists, I have no doubt, it exists in psychiatry. And it is important to make the diagnosis, because it is just one of the psychiatric cases where the medication is going well. If the diagnosis is correct, the medication can cause him to become a subject that walks well through life. I make an alert not to diagnose lightly because, otherwise, it seems that we are all bipolar. A guy has fun at a party, he's excited, bye, he's bipolar. He is depressed, and there he is sad because it went wrong, he is a bipolar.

-The scene is very often seen in the face of the ailment manifested by a person there is another who immediately puts his hand in his wallet or pocket says: "Ah, I have a rivotril …" There is a lot of circulation of pills, right? ?

–In Argentina, yes. I have a very clear position. I believe that those who meditate the most are not psychiatrists or psychoanalysts. The medical doctors meditate a lot. One goes with a supposedly organic symptom to the guard and they say: "That is a psychic problem, you know, there is the irritable colon, anguish, precordial oppression, famous anguish crises, those …" And then he says : "You can't go without anything, here you have a rivotril." If we go out and stop 50 people, I would dare to say that 20 have that pill in their pocket. And they carry it just in case, as a counterphobic companion. I believe that this was an excess of the hyper-medicalization that there has been of which I blame the pharmaceutical industries. I am a psychiatrist but I am far from psychopharmacology because I focused on psychoanalysis. When I have a case that needs a psychopharmacologistBecause it is a specialty, I send it to a colleague who I know is not going to medicate it too much. I think there is an exaggeration and a hyper medicalization that has to do a lot with getting the patient off very fast, not listening, not seeing what is happening and on top of that the pharmaceutical industry pushes a lot so that this product is of mass consumption.

Basic Hugo Lerner

Psychiatrist and Psychoanalyst Doctor. Konex Award for Merit in Psychoanalysis 2016. He is a full member of the Argentine Psychoanalytic Association and a member of the International Psychoanalytic Association. Vice President of the Psychoanalytic Studies Foundation.

He works as a guest graduate professor at various national and foreign institutions and universities.

Author and compiler of the books Psychoanalysis: changes and permanence; Border Organizations – Frontiers of Psychoanalysis and Suffering. 10 psychoanalysts – 10 approaches. Co-author of the books: Teens: turbulent trajectories; Contemporary teens A challenge for Psychoanalysis; Of panics and fury. The Clinic of Overflow and Teen Problems. Interventions in the current clinic.

Leave a Comment