Abstract: The article describes the psychic phenomenon of decathexis starting from the title of a well know essay, giving a psychoanalytical definition and reexamining Freud’s essay Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920) tracing its clinical consequences and widespread social and cultural impact. This article intends to stress the importance of the essay that caused the shift of psychoanalysis with the introduction of the concept of death drive. The essay is especially well suited today to explain the subtle and socially approved extension of the clinical-social forms of decathexis that go from drug addiction to the absence of desire for anything. The post-modern clinic is a clinic of the death drive, seen as Freud did not as acted out aggression but as search for non-thought and non-tension. The article closes reflecting on the ability of psychoanalysis to play a role in this situation.
Keywords: Decathexis, death drive, contemporary psychoanalysis, addiction, post-modernism