Anthony McCarthy – Psychoanalysis and the Formation of the Psychiatrist

THE LETTER 18 (Spring 2000) pages 87-92

Shortly after I started work as a psychiatrist in London some years ago, an Irish patient named END A, who had a diagnosis of schizophrenia, was booked in to see me at an outpatient clinic. When I saw him waiting outside my office I introduced myself to him and asked him was he Enda. He replied that he was but that, as I was obviously Irish and probably Catholic, I must know who he was already. After some questioning by me he went on to explain that I must know because everyone knew who he was. As evidence he mentioned that the prayers after the rosary were about him, for example his mother’s favourite prayer had as its last line:

‘and world without end amen ‘ ‘and world without END Amen’.

So, what are Enda Men I wondered and what is a world without Enda Men. As he was just about to become a father for the first time I also wondered to myself about N Ad Men. This is the sort of stuff that made me, and would make any self respecting Lacanian analyst lick their lips or at the very least say ‘I believe … in Lacuna and Language’.

As I later consulted his hospital chart I noted that he had a long history of schizophrenia, had been admitted on nine occasions to hospital, seven times by force under the Mental Health act, had a history of considerable violence to others and to himself, had been banned from open wards because of this violence to others and could now only be admitted to locked high security wards, had a drug and alcohol problem, and had only one leg because the other was amputated after he jumped through a window in one of his acute psychotic phases. This is the sort of stuff that made me, and would make any self respecting psychiatrist say ‘I…


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