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Why Psychoanalysis? (Paperback)

Why Psychoanalysis? By Elisabeth Roudinesco, Rachel Bowlby (Translator) Cover Image
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Description


Why do some people still choose psychoanalysis-Freud's so-called talking cure-when numerous medications are available that treat the symptoms of psychic distress so much faster? Elisabeth Roudinesco tackles this difficult question, exploring what she sees as a "depressive society" an epidemic of distress addressed only by an increasing reliance on prescription drugs.

Far from contesting the efficacy of new medications like Prozac, Zoloft, and Viagra in alleviating the symptoms of any number of mental or nervous conditions, Roudinesco argues that the use of such drugs fails to solve patients' real problems. In the man who takes Viagra without ever wondering why he is suffering from impotence and the woman who is given antidepressants to deal with the loss of a loved one, Roudinesco sees a society obsessed with efficiency and desperate for the quick fix.

She argues that "the talking cure" and pharmacology represent not just different approaches to psychiatry, but different worldviews. The rush to treat symptoms is itself symptomatic of an antiseptic and depressive culture in which thought is reduced to the firing of neurons and desire is just a chemical secretion. In contrast, psychoanalysis testifies to human freedom and the power of language.


Product Details
ISBN: 9780231122030
ISBN-10: 0231122039
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication Date: March 10th, 2004
Pages: 184
Language: English
Series: European Perspectives: A Series in Social Thought and Cultur