The psychotic lives in the terror of breakdown (against which the various psychoses are merely defenses). But 'the clinical fear of breakdown is the fear of a breakdown which has already been experienced (primitive agony)...and there are moments when a patient needs to be told that the breakdwon, fear of which is wrecking his life, has already occurred.' Similarly, it seems, for the lover's anxiety: it is the fear of a mourning, which has already occurred, at the very origin of love, from the moment when I was first 'ravished.' Someone would have to be able to tell me: 'Don't be anxious any more--you've already lost him/her.'

--Roland Barthes, The Lover's Discourse

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