Subjective destitution; an experience of oneself as excremental (a piece of shit) and worthless, and of being eclipsed by the objet petit a
. An experience of the breakdown of one's sense of one's own value when overshadowed by the external locus of one's desires.
It is a concept in Lacanian psychoanalysis which is also sometimes used in cultural studies. It is a crucial component of Zizek's concept of the Act.
Victims of terrorist kidnappings may undergo aphanisis and end up identifying with their captors (the so-called "Helsinki Syndrome").