The Congress

Everyone Wants Ecstasy [1]

Marisa Morao


Commentary on Article Why Do We Think Suffering Is Good for Us? published in

A biological approach to contemporary psychiatry is hopeful. The reason being, the Food and Drug Administration approved esketamine (nasal version of ketamine) that seems to relieve depressive symptoms more quickly than other antidepressants.

This news is the bridge that connects with the central idea of ​​the article: the use of drugs to strengthen the effects of therapy in the treatment of various disorders that cause suffering. The proposal is not unprecedented; what is being renewed, by the laboratory market, is the substance. Here is drawn an arc that goes from ketamine to MDMA, known as ecstasy.

The dream of the pill to eliminate the suffering of the speaking being was anticipated by the British writer Aldous Huxley through his novel Brave New World, published in 1932. It is a world in which everyone consumes "soma" the drug to avoid misery. This narration shows that you do not dream only when you sleep.

In this perspective, psychoanalysis is an informed practice of the existence of the death drive underlying every promise of "happiness without shadows". It does not promote passive submission to the suffering of "destiny"; nor agrees with the stoical moral mentioned by Dr. F.

Psychoanalysis is not differentiated only by belonging to another epistemic field. It is a practice that is guided by the singular deviations of each subject. Its ethics opposes vivifying jouissance to the suffering.

Translated by Lorena Hojman and revised by María Cristina Aguirre


  1. Sentence pertaining to the musical theme The route of the tentempié¹ of the singer and composer of Argentine rock Charly García.

Translator’s note: tentempié is a shortening of "mantente en pie", meaning "keep yourself standing", with the sense of "endure, do not faint" and also means snack, bite to eat.