The Ties that Unbind: Knotting in the Age of Austerity


Here is an old paper recently published.

It was initially presented at the joint colloquium for the Lacan Circle of Melbourne and Australian Centre for Psychoanalysis in September, 2015.


4 thoughts on “The Ties that Unbind: Knotting in the Age of Austerity

  1. I found the link between neoliberalism and psychosis interesting. Now, if only my USA psychiatrist would read this with enthusiasm. The mental health system here reminds of a a famous stew in which everything goes in but you and me.

    • Psychiatry’s goal is “fixing” the patient so that he or she can “live, work and love”, to paraphrase Freud, in accordance with the norms and values of society. A patient who refuses to accept arbitrary DSM labels and points to society as the problem is not taken seriously. They must stop “resisting” and take “responsibility” for themselves. Mainstream psychiatry, like all orthodoxies, rejects critical thinking that strays outside its boundaries. There are enlightened practitioners out there, like Bruce E. Levine, but unfortunately most regular people never have a chance to access their services.

      • For those of us who have suffered under our own personal trauma and on top of that a cruel economic system, our only recourse to help both financial and psychological is to be subjected to neoliberal solutions i.e. CBT, DBT, and tranquilizers. Some people just cant make it in a competitive world without some form of assistance, yet in order to receive benefits we must receive a diagnosis and take medication for life. I dont see the anti psychiatry movement answering this problem. If we do away with the DSM and claim mental illness is social construct what happens to all the people receiving assistance?

        In my own experience I know that I have some form of deep psychological pain that threw my life into disarray, and I knew that it wasnt biological because it appeared just as I starting to live alone on my own. It took me by surprise and I may have even idealized it to a certain extent. It wasnt until I started reading Lacan via Zizek that I started to get a better understanding of our minds relate with the social order. Unfortunately, Freud was already just a footnote in a text book in the US. I still fantasize about going under analysis to dress my wound and thus live a fuller life, but Lacanians are few and far between.

  2. “”If we do away with the DSM and claim mental illness is social construct what happens to all the people receiving assistance? “”

    I’m not saying do away with the Diagnostic Slander Manual. But if you ever encounter a robodrone MH worker for review of benefits, just start spitting truth. As in chemical imbalances don’t exist and its a giant conspiracy. Reference Irving Kirsch and many others. I’ve done this myself. These people are so deluded and ‘clinicalized’ that just TELLING THE TRUTH will get you labeled paranoid. Then you get to keep benefits AND not have to take pills!!!

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