Autistic spectrum disorder [ASD]: from DSM-5 to psychoanalysis


This paper aims to be an in-depth reading, from the perspective of psychoanalysis, of the Autism Spectrum Disorder [ASD] in the DSM-5.

The hypothesis from which we start proposes to confirm that the concepts and terms included to define this diagnostic label are nourished by psychoanalytic theory, enhancing rather than detracting from it. We will also confirm that there are great differences in the interpretation of each concept. The psychoanalytic reading of the DSM-5 will allow us to carry out a conceptualization that will go beyond the phenomenological, to point to the causes that have generated such symptomatology and to which psychic structure it refers.

ASD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM-5, Psychoanalysis

[Automatic translation from Spanish]:

Since current psychoanalysis, we consider that the child retouched ASD is an affection that is characterized by a markedly abnormal or deficient development of affective interaction and social communication, with inadequate reciprocity with people. There is a great difficulty in taking account of others and in tying them. The process of symbolization does not develop or present major alterations, leading to intense mental rigidity, a highly restricted repertoire of interests, in sum, to a great difficulty in relation to the law of castration or acceptance of the principle of asdity.

It is manifested or organized in the first thirty months of life and results in a stagnation of emotional, social and cognitive development with symbolic process affection (Viloca, L., 2002).

Etiology since psychoanalytic

Psychoanalytic theory now thinks that children affected by ASD suffer from neuropsychobiological disorder that has influenced the fact that, in the course of the first year’s fetal and postnatal life, they have suffered from unknown causes—biological, emotional, environmental—a very stressful situation that has led to serious alterations in their neuropsychosocial development.

We consider and try to understand, from psychoanalytic theorizations, the sympathology described in the DSM-5: difficulties in affective interaction, difficulties in interaction and social communication through language and stereotyping, obsessions and mental rigidity. In this way, we will be able to fully understand all the factors that have been able to shape an autistic mental structure. […]

Marisa Ara Comin
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