Saturday, August 6, 2016

grandiosity/paranoia depression/melancholia proto and deutero

An issue has begun to take shape for me about all the subtle variations in pathology.

In the past, all too quickly, the analyst would assume some part of a depth structure that wasn't manifest still had to be there. In a triangular situation with a father-substitute, for example, the analyst would anticipate death wishes even if the person wasn't bringing them up.

I remember an instructor telling me that self-reproaches must always be part of depression too. However, what a difference there is between someone who "reviles" themselves vs. someone who is low energy or "dead" and may have some ideas about defectiveness in them that they keep to themselves.

In this way, I think that it's important to make a division between the subject egoist's grandiosity in identifying with the parental imago and him or her doing so along with hate and aggressive feelings that create paranoia along with that grandiosity. In the classic literature they would talk about the megalomania of the paranoiac but this must have just meant grandiosity as an exaggeration.

Similarly, the depressed patient who is dead, empty, depleted, etc. can manifest this way and may or may not, have melancholic self-reproaches.

Personally, I'd rather reverse the two labels and have melancholia as the underlying state, because the word invokes that image in me more. But, I don't want to add to confusion here...

Any reader should know that we are talking about the proto phase of a certain stage of development here. The deutero phase is more subtle still.

In the SE the deutero phase involves a relation to a mentor, or a closer relation to a parental-substitute. In many substance abuse groups you can see the SE who pretends that he's worked through his issues in the past and is there to give advice to other group members and has an impressive sense of calm, some wise things to say, and potentially becomes a rival for the focus of attention or power (and often the therapist colludes with him not getting personal and directs others problems to him). He is the would-be mentor, and he won't deign to have personal conversations about his struggles along with the other members of the group. For some of the deutero subject egoists, I have had the impression that there's earlier grandiosity in a schizoid sense. For example, some sense that the person meditates and is in touch with reality, God, or something semi-spiritual in some way. There are many different libidinal economies.

In the SA we have the dynamic with the rescuer and the rescued in the deutero phase. The classic masochistic complainer is the person usurping the parental imago. You can often see in group  that some people are disposed to giving the person advice and wanting to help them (and many that just go with the flow in offering advice or think they are supposed to). The deutero parental imago in earlier stages isn't about being unhappy in work and love, but being rescued from dying, from going to jail, from living on the margins of society, etc.