The Psychoanalytic Interpretation of Symptoms – Evidence and Benefits
Jorge C. Ulnik, M. Dennis Linder
Dermatological symptoms are explained in medicine in biological terms. Nevertheless, exploring the life history of dermatological patients can lead to seductive, but non-rigorously scientific interpretations which are of associative, or even symbolic nature. Moreover, associations of physical signs and life events, suggest us to consider our patients as subjects pervaded by the will to communicate not only through language, but also through their body and all its functions and malfunctions. Interpreting symptoms and eventually finding a meaning to the disease must not imply a causative attribution, because the very signification of cause and effect is probably beyond our grasp. Hence, aware of our limits, we should know whether we wish to treat the disease as a whole, considering that the observer (the doctor, the patient or the medicine as a theoretical corpus) is not only an observer from outside, but part of the disease that will be treated or described.