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Tower, S. (2003). Peace and Terror: Psychoanalytic Concepts of Psychosis and George Mitchell's Management of the Northern Ireland Peace Process. Free Associations, 10(1):84-141.
(2003). Free Associations, 10(1):84-141
Peace and Terror: Psychoanalytic Concepts of Psychosis and George Mitchell's Management of the Northern Ireland Peace Process
“Peace: Freedom from mental, spiritual, or emotional disturbance; calm … freedom from, or cessation of war or hostilities … A state of friendliness.
Terror: The state of being terrified or extremely frightened; intense fear or dread … The state or quality of being terrible, or causing intense fear or dread.
Psychosis: Severe mental illness, derangement or disorder involving a loss of contact with reality, frequently with hallucinations, delusions, or altered thought processes, with or without known organic origin.” (The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 1993, ed. L. Brown)
Peace and terror are thought to be mutually exclusive concepts. Where there is one, there is, by definition, an absence of the other. Whilst peace comprises a ‘freedom from, or cessation of war or hostilities’, a ‘calm’ and ‘friendliness’, terror describes a state of being both ‘terrified’ and ‘terrible’, in other words of being at once a perpetrator and a victim of ‘fear or dread’. Terror in this way describes a ‘war-zone’ in which the experience of conflict and psychic pain is considerable.
The term ‘psychosis’ categorizes the most extreme end of mental ‘dis-ease’, a disorder in which acute levels of psychic pain and conflict are also implied.
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