Symbolic function of medication - a case report
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Arch Psych Psych 2008;10(3):65-69
The function of pharmacotherapy can be seen on different levels. It has not only a pharmacological function, but also a psychodynamic function; it can have a function of an object and the patient can make the relation with a drug similar to a relation with a person and it can have symbolic function. The case story of a man treated with fluoxetine is described. In his subjective experience, improvement during treatment has a special meaning - and that is stopping the process of aging and dying and beginning a new life. He expressed this by painting figures of Adam and Eve in the centre of the living room of his house. He took the prototype of these figures from pictures of marble sculptures on the tomb in an Italian necropolis. Subjective interpretation of drug action was expressed in symbolic form.
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