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Bronstein, C. (2020). Psychosis and psychotic functioning in adolescence. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 101(1):136-151.

(2020). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 101(1):136-151

Psychosis and psychotic functioning in adolescence

Catalina Bronstein

This paper presents an overview of the main issues that underlie the outbreak of a psychosis in adolescence. The author addresses significant questions that arise in connection with the use of the terms psychosis, psychotic functioning, and adolescent breakdown, examining different theoretical and clinical approaches to psychosis in adolescence. One of the main areas to be explored is the use of the specific diagnosis of psychosis in adolescence when we witness fluctuating mental states, variability, and changeable behaviour.

A central point in the development of a psychotic process is the relationship to external reality. This break with reality was characterized by M. and M.E. Laufer as specifically lived out in relation to the reality of the adolescent's changing body. This paper will look at these authors' understanding of psychotic episodes, psychotic functioning, and psychosis, as well as other theoretical perspectives. The paper will address the economic aspects linked to drive increase, the complex interplay of early anxieties, unconscious phantasies and internal object relations, along with the role of identity, the superego and trauma. The paper also discusses different modalities of treatment and stresses the benefit of psychoanalytic treatment for disturbed adolescents.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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