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SubjectivityEthnographic Investigations$
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Joao Biehl, Byron Good, and Arthur Kleinman

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780520247925

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520247925.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 30 June 2022

A Life

A Life

Between Psychiatric Drugs and Social Abandonment

(p.397) 14 A Life

JoÃo Biehl

University of California Press

This chapter tells the story of a young woman named Caterina, who was considered mad and left by her family in an asylum in Southern Brazil, examining the “dictionary” she created, which was composed of words that had meaning for her and gave form to both her past and present being. It shows the complicated circuits where Caterina's abandonment and pathology took form, as well as the edges of human imagination that she keeps on expanding. The chapter also unravels her story, including the misdiagnosis, excessive medication, and complicity among health professionals and family in creating her status as a psychotic.

Keywords:   abandonment, pathology, human imagination, dictionary, present being, psychotic, misdiagnosis, excessive medication, complicity

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