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Revista Mal Estar e Subjetividade

versão impressa ISSN 1518-6148


CAMPOS, Denise Teles Freire. The repetition and the pair mania-depression in the psychoanalytic clinic of obesity. Rev. Mal-Estar Subj. [online]. 2011, vol.11, n.2, pp. 501-524. ISSN 1518-6148.

The recognition of obesity as a disease from the biological point of view is controversial. However, WHO points unequivocally to the fact that it has become one of the most urgent and disturbing public health problem. The present work aims to discuss the obesity by the prism of the fundamental psychopathology, without forgetting the multidimensional nature of the phenomenon. The "opulent body" is treated here in its articulation with the subjectivity, pointing cultural formations which make obesity an expression of the body fetishization in modernity. The reflections presented here are based on observations made during patients' treatment with a obesity physical conditions, seeking the office of psychoanalysis. The work resumes the "melancholy acting" to examine the "obesity acting" taking melancholy as a "paradigm" to understand the suffering in obesity, and proposes a parallel between depressive manifestations in one and in other case. Clinical observations allow the hypothesis of a flaw in structural pair "mania-depression". The flaw in this defensive mechanism seems to prevent the regulation of anxiety: in face of frustration for idealized and unattainable projects (the miraculously slimming dreamed), the anxiety is embodied, and not symbolized. Thus, obesity is presented as a narcissistic illness. The pair "mania-depression" flaw has the effect of blocking elaboration and the possibility to symbolize the conflict. Repetition (in eating) is the body of absence, and the opulent body is the inverted image of a void. The work also examines how the social imaginary, within a culture of consumption and ruling on the body, promotes social pressures which converge with the structural flaw promoting the entrapment of the subject in the cycle of obesity.

Palavras-chave : Fundamental psychopathology; obesity; mania; depression; clinical practice.

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