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Human relationship: our psychic structure and it’s functioning

Dipu Akter

To understand human behaviour, its nature and the form of disorders or pathologies, we confide on two existing models. One is medical model and another is psychoanalytical model. Psychoanalytic model dug out so profoundly on our psychic functioning and made a remarkable contribution in comprehending mysterious human mind.We know about Freud’s contribution to psychoanalysis. But, we aren’t much familiar with Jacques Lacan’s work. Lacan is a French psychoanalyst who reread, reinterpreted Freud’s theory and proposed his own explanation of Freud’s work. He tried to decode his theories in terms of mathematical formulas. Human psychic structures and its functioning is the core of Lacanian psychoanalysis.It’s Sigmund Freud first who has introduced three psychic structures according to its nature and the way of functioning. These are: neurotic, psychotic and pervert. Later on, Jacques Lacan elaborated all three concepts more clearly. We owe a lot to him for his tremendous contribution in conceptualizing the notion of three distinct psychic structures.Freud compared our psychic structure as a mineral. If we cut a cube of mineral into pieces we will get small cubes, but the nature of all cubes will remain the same. Like mineral, we will stay within our core structure, whatever happened. The structuralization process follows certain orders, systems. According to Lacan, our psychic structure organized in the unconscious and strictly tied with language. It’s the language which gives the structure (psychic). Our psychic structure started to get shaped since when we get introduced to the language; through the language, we enter the symbolic world. Human inner psychic structure refers how the subject entered, engaged to the outer world. Each structure has its own way to be related to the external world, to maintain relationships with other. The unconscious functioning of a neurotic and psychotic is like one is talking in Japanese and the other is in German, one can’t understand another’s language. Why all of our relationships seem as difficult to handle or maintain, different structural functioning is one of the reasons behind.Here is a short description of three psychic structures. In Neurosis, elements from external world continuously pusses someone’s inner world. Guilty feeling, sense of responsibility, search for a missing object to the external world are the distinguishing feature of neurotic. The main defence mechanism is Repression, which helps to avoid dissatisfaction by avoiding the cause which provokes dissatisfaction.
In Psychoses, the main feature of this structure is castration anxiety. But the castration isn’t recognized by the subject. Unconsciously, they use a defence mechanism to adjust with this complexity. Here Lacan introduced a defence mechanism named Forclusion (of the name of the Father) where symbolization isn’t accessible. The missing object is always within him/her self. This is a little bit self-centred position. We see in Autism that the external world doesn’t matter for them. This is true for all form of psychosis. The other doesn’t matter to them. In Perversion, the principal mechanism is Denial, (denial of castration). It is opposite of psychosis. Castration is recognized but denied, thus they adapt with the state of castration anxiety. In perversion, the unlimited jouissance is depended on someone else’s shoulder. They objectified other people for their own gratification. They don’t really care for the other, but other is indispensable for their pleasure, satisfaction, and objectification. As Lacan described pervert structure: ‘They speak nicely, think excellently but do the worst’. Though often perversion is related with sexuality but the abnormal sexual activities aren’t always the only trait. Deny to obeying the red signal on the street is also a pervert feature. Good pervert also exists. It’s the question of psychic mechanism where the Denial and imposing one’s own rules instead of social norms is the dominating feature in someone’s psyche. Psychoanalyst’s main task is to study psychic structures and the mechanism of defence, whether or not it is normal or pathological! And, how massive someone’s defence mechanism is!! (Defense mechanism is a strategy by which a subject wants to defend the ego/self from threats coming from the outer world. The ego or self continuously defends to maintain a psychic balance.)
There isn’t any pure structure. It’s all about to recognize the dominating structure and to identify whether or not its functioning is in the normal range or in pathological form. Most interesting thing, according to Lacan is, there isn’t anything such as normal psychic structure. All human being is destined to be psychotic, or neurotic, or pervert – and it’s ok to be psychotic, neurotic or pervert. What matters, is it in normal or pathological level. That will determine how far we will go with our significant other.

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