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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").
by Andy May 07, 2004
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