[Instances of Alienation: Portrait of the Torn Patient. I. Individual and Context]

Rev Med Suisse. 2014 Feb 12;10(417):373-5.
[Article in French]


While the past decades were marked by an increased interest for the existential situation of man suffering from disease, the mechanisms alienating the patient from himself and from his context have been poorly investigated. These mechanisms, though operating in a dynamic interaction, will be discussed here sequentially. The first part of this article focuses on individual mechanisms of alienation emerging from the relationship the patient establishes with his body and psyche and on those related to his relational context. The aim is not to comprehensively describe these phenomena, but to discuss--based on clinical vignettes--some examples and their implications. The second part of the article describes some mechanisms of alienation that are incorporated in the medical apparatus and the dominant discourses.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Body Image
  • Chronic Disease / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Social Alienation*