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Christopher Bollas: Mental Pain

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Christopher Bollas, the most influential psychoanalyst writing in English today, asserts that mental life is innately hazardous. The steps we take through childhood are marked by mentally painful episodes that constitute ordinary breakdowns in the self. Adolescence stands as the most painful such period, during which some of the major disturbances of self arise, including anorexia, schizophrenia, bipolarity, and sociopathy. Rather than approaching mental pain as a condition to be ignored, minimized, or suppressed through medication, Bollas examines it as a constitutive element of human psychic development.
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