Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Gregory Bourassa, Honors Thesis Advisor


Mental illness--Treatment; Self;


Mainstream psychology denies the unconscious, and is therefore unequipped to properly address the problematic of mental health, instead providing the coordinates for the symptom-formation of mental unwellness as a reaction to the inherent split of the subject, through the installation of the myth of the self-identical I. This same myth is perpetuated through capitalist individualism and the imperative to enjoy, and in the University through the discourse of science. The aim of psychoanalysis is to traverse the fantasy of this symptom-formation, and return the split to the subject. Finally, suicide is posited as the inevitable result of a self-identical notion of freedom as contingency, and is countered by a freedom of necessity, a freedom of the split subject.

In other words, contemporaneous mental health discourse is actively harmful to those suffering from mental health issues, as it merely confers a new set of demands: namely, to become yourself. The more this discourse “empowers” us, the more we are ultimately to blame for our own predicament. The more it tells us to focus on ourselves and fixing our own lives, the more it exacerbates our mental health issues, which presupposes this very narrative focused on the self. Instead, it is only by aiming elsewhere, by partaking in a collective project of universal emancipation, that one can indirectly resolve their mental health issues as currently configured. It is the eradication of the self as object of concern that allows the self to continue in its existence, except now as non-substantial, as a non-entity.

Year of Submission



Department of Educational Psychology, Foundations, and Leadership Studies

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

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