PERPLEXITY: AN EFFECT OF SOCIAL TRAUMA

ABSTRACT. This paper faces the challenge of building hypotheses that contain referents
about social subjectivity and the effects of mental inscription of traumatic social events.
The authors’ starting point is the hypothesis that every link involves a subjectivizing
potential. Also the ‘unconscious principle of uncertainty’ holds that every encounter
exposes the individual to unforeseeable effects that cause emotional states bound to the
uncertainty that underlies the construction of every link. This principle remains unconscious
because the individual defensively implements the ‘illusion of predictability’, but a
violent and unexpected attack may activate it, causing a state of disorganization whose
clinical indicator is the feeling of perplexity. The paper discusses thinking disorders within
the context of violent actions. Finally, clinical material about a patient being assaulted and
held as hostage is discussed.
Key words: social subjectivity, unconscious principle of uncertainty, hostages, perplexity, Argentina

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