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MINERBO, Marion. To be and to suffer, today. Ide (São Paulo) [online]. 2013, vol.35, n.55, pp. 31-42. ISSN 0101-3106.

This paper proposes a relationship between post-modernity, understood as a generalized institutional crisis, and a psychic suffering related to it. The psyche depends on meaning offered by institutions to be able to attribute any sense to reality and to symbolize emotional experiences. In its failure - condition which I call symbolic depletion - it is obliged to use specific defense mechanisms, such as: a) violent acting-outs or somatizations when overwhelmed by instinctual drives; b) disinvestment leading to feeling of emptiness, boredom and apathy; c) addiction to self-calming down sensorial stimuli, and compulsive behavior that aim to create a kind of identity prosthesis.

Palabras clave : Post-modernity; Psychic suffering; Symbolic depletion; Instinctual drive excess; Contemporary psychopathology.

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