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ISSN: 2690-5760

Journal of Clinical & Community Medicine

Mini Review Article(ISSN: 2690-5760)

Famous Journeys: Pathological Trips and Therapeutical Travels Volume 4 - Issue 4

Scharbach Hugues MD*

  • Past Teacher PARIS’s University Neuropsychiatrist past Head of Psychiatric Service Doctor of Psychology LYON ‘s University, Forensic National Expert hon, France

Received:May 05, 2022;   Published: May 26, 2022

Corresponding author: Scharbach Hugues MD, Past Teacher PARIS’s University Neuropsychiatrist past Head of Psychiatric Service Doctor of Psychology LYON ‘s University, Forensic National Expert hon, France

DOI: 10.32474/JCCM.2022.04.000191


Abstract PDF


A decision-making process that is sometimes little thought out or, on the contrary, long awaited and maturated in order to overcome, to forget the repetitive imprint of an unattractive or uninspiring daily life, not training, without fortifying the self, boring or conflicting daily life, while time flies. The aim could be also to fortify, to transfigure an experience and reinforce, even recreate and I, an existing narcissistically more consistent, an EGO in conformity with another Self-conception, according to aspirations not always clearly represented or defined or even secret, almost subconscious by certain people... really defined by others [1]. A search is needed: Find modes of different existences, which better shape the feeling of Being in tune with oneself and acquiring a new, a real complete Existing one, what could happen magic of discovering other places, very impressive and soliciting chance, especially that encounters. A connection could be made between psychic spaces and geographical places when an instability of forms and landmarks is probable. Before to describe Clinical Cases, we would like to show how intense could be the emotion, when famous people discover s knew geographic and particularly monumental sites [2].

Keywords:Productive Travel; Excursion; Long Way; Exciting Journey; Wandering; Long Travel; Necessary Path Break; World Discovery Therapeutic Solution; Positive or Negative Experience; Search for Other Existential Contours; Race of Life Motionless Journey


Regarding the history-archeology of migrations, the search of arable land, the hunt is to take in consideration. So, what drove the warriors to seek other lands thus is the bringing into contact of the new and old world. As CLAUSEWITZ wrote: Men need the hazard of the unknown to feel fully alive...Tear themselves away from the order of things, brave the fear of uncertainty. But what pushes the single man to leave his country, his family circle, his usual environment? [3]. The determinisms are very different between the concern to make discoveries, famous sites and to improve his capacities, to create a new entity and that one searching to avoid persisting in a too much neutral or despairing place, the one flighting a place where he thinks he is suffering from that is not very buoyant, conflicting or hostile. There are many examples, such as the feeling described, both of current hyperactive Elon Musk: from PRETORIA to the Silicon Valley... Even Sigmund FREUD dazzled by the beauty of the monuments like many travelers, especially the romantics or, on the contrary, the subject with a disharmonious psyche leading him to vagrancy, even becoming a tramp, who can live wandering [4].

Emotional Expression of famous people

Sigmund FREUD was writing to Romain ROLLAND concerning a kind of

a) Trouble of Memory on the Acropolis

b) I doubted I would ever see ATHENS with my own eyes

This feeling was linked to the poverty of our living conditions in my youth. And surely these travel dreams also expressed the desire to escape from the family atmosphere, the same desire that drives so many teenagers to run away for a free life... I had long since unraveled that a good part of my desire to travel was due to this desire for a free life, in other words to my dissatisfaction within my family. When you see the sea for the first time, when you cross the ocean, cities and real landscapes that we have long dreamed of as distant and inaccessible things, we feel like a hero having accomplished incredible feats [5].

Journeys, especially pathological ones, often involve reeling and ultimately waiting for an encounter with a human object, which sent him back to the sensations experienced when faces leaned over his cradle muttering kind words or with objects whose realization transcends man through creativity. In the extension of the feeling of FREUD, D. LE GUEN, also psychoanalyst, reports for the fifty anniversary of the French psychoanalytic society a strong emotion after having wandered with his teammates on the boat during hours of waiting at ROME. But it was surprising: he wrote: « it looked me in solitude. And then, his strange and manifestly unjustified feeling that I have looking for since morning in the different churches...One half-hour passed, I was always in front of MOÏSE» [6].

Historical of Different Conceptions of TRAVELS and TRIPS

a) At the beginning of the XIX° century, the Alienated travelers or migrants have been the subject of studies by Achille FOVILLE (1975), LE GRAND du SAULLE; de CLERAMBAULT in FRANCE and of other authors in the Bulletin of the Clinical Society of mental Medicine. The accent was placed on the persecutory and hallucinatory determinants.

b) A distinction is introduced between pathological journeys, wanderings, fugues, and trips.

On that time, the great conceptions of the Psychiatry influenced when approaches to somnanbulic automatism, to the epileptic and also hysterical one. There were also descriptions of dromomania, of impulsive trips.

c) With the mondial transformation of transports, the travel has been considerably modified, even in their modalities. But the departure to go away keep and deep signification. Even the psychic diseases have got new symptomatic aspects. It appears less neurotic one, particularly of phobic or obsessional register and new expressions of hysterical forms. More Borderline disorders and the drug’s addiction seem to be promoted, as well as the evolution to schizophrenic troubles, notably including paranoide delirious episode and comportment troubles...But always « paranoiaque » psychic structuration with straight building of false or persecutive ideas. New drugs have allowed a transformation of the shape of the morbidity and a possible reparable evolution [7].

Two clinical Vignettes will illustrate a psychotic decompensation

a) LEA is a 27-years-old woman, integrated socioprofessionally. She decides to go, with the friend with whom she lives, to attend a rock concert in PARIS. Two days before, her friend finds her overexcited. They decide to leave their home at night to drive to that place. They stop at a rest area 100 kms from the capital. He goes to the toilets. She stays alone and quickly feels an ineffable strange feeling, against a background of great insecurity, so that when her friend returns, she locks the doors to prevent him from entering into the car, as he was become a stranger and threatening. Taking the driver’s seat, she drives off, arrives at the toll booth, which she crosses then stops there. She perceives an impression of black hole in a context of great psychotic anguish. She turns around and takes the lanes of the highway in the opposite direction. A Police car picks her up, which aggravates her paranoïd experience. The fires of the cars she crosses are those of tanks; the country is invaded by extraterrestrials, and she is pursued to be captured or killed. One car avoids it and goes to the pit. It hits another head on, in which were two young’s Japanese’s: one dies on the spot; the other is unharmed. One month later, she remains perplexed and does not yet fully criticize his delusional experience [8].

Second Vignette

Elma is a 47-years-old woman is a seamstress, married to a craftsman, mother of 3 children. She had an early menopause at « § years old; She has suffered of two previously atypical depressive episodes. In October, after a period of hard work, she leaves with a group of pilgrims for San Damiano in ITALIA. At ANGERS on other passengers take place, whom she perceives as hostile. An ideic subexitation will appear as the journey progresses. She will develop during the trip a delirious puff with visual and coenesthestic hallucinations. In particular, she has the impression that the passengers in the back seat are pricking her with a needle. Messianic ideas appear, according to which she must do something for the children of the Third World, in particular located in SAHEL. The delirious activity will be quickly braded by the neuroleptic but there will remain for several months an ambivalence against background of existential insecurity. She has difficulty taking some fruit from a cup, a reel from a basket and evokes her concern at not being able to choose, nor decide. She has the impression, that people look at her with curiosity and malevolence.

The Fugues

Young children can wander outside the family home, away from the nurse or from her mother. who looks after them? That’s the same at the supermarket, or even on the beach, where each year the surveillance’s post welcomes them. The epistemological drive seems to underlie for part these behaviors, such that the child risks losing themselves or the affirmation in some kind by the « no ». In running away, especially in adolescents, there is the intention to leave a place that is certainly familiar, often to take shelter from conflicting intra-family situations. It could be also gone open up topological spaces where psychic spaces are no longer containing, sometimes in relation to experiences, affects or even emotions. It could also be dued to a partner, whose presence is not accepted, to a wish to flee scenes of violence, consequence of sexual abuse, even family breakdown. Running away takes on its true dimension after sunset in a child over 6 or 7 years old. Its aim will be more precised concerning an older, who will be able to integrate into a socialized behavior, sometimes marginal, within a group during adolescence. Impulsiveness factors this type of acting behavior which may have a transgressive connotation. Especially in the case of psychic tension that is difficult to work out at the level of mentalization process, for instance in those who have a prepsychotic personality structure or even borderline. Sometimes, it’s driven by nostalgy to refund a nanny, a mother after placement in an institution with young destabilized by the disturbances of game of identifications. Hysterical arrangements can underlie certain fugues.

Neurotic Organizations and a Looking for an Elsewhere

OVIDIA, 13-years and 10 months-old, is the youngest of 3 young’s, with a strong lag by 2 boys. She is an eumorphic BCBG adolescent. She is educated in high school in the 4th grade but has experienced a decline in her pedagogical performance over the past month and has also been sad. Generalized pain was associated with this depressive-looking symptomatology. The conflict seemed to be underpinned by difficulty in communicating with the father, an executive in a bank and to mark a closeness with her mother. This one highlights as a traumatic factor having affected her maturing development for her daughter, too frequent moves related to the father’s profession, I.e. Every 3 years, having led to several sometimes distant cities, which incidentally had given rise in the loss of comrades appreciated by her, to whom she could sometimes confide.

What happens: One day, she doesn’t return home. She was feeling of freedom never felt before and, while she finds it difficult to bear the loneliness within the family home, she perceives. She has kept the city of CAHORS as the geographical and emotional balance center of her attachments, where she liked to meet her maternal grandparents during vacations, however this summer, his grandfather died just after their departure. Uncomfortable in a city, which she had not yet invested, having few friends there, she was going to take the train clandestinely one day, leaving no indication to her parents. In the wagon compartment, she experienced a feeling of freedom never felt before and while she was in difficulty to bear her loneliness within the family home, she perceived it as invigorating with a connotation of pleasant autonomy. She will be intercepted by the juvenile brigade at The ROCHELLE’s station, her mother having intuitively guessed the possible trajectory of her running away. The analysis of which brings out a double determination.

Back to time, she is a child who did not have to face the transformations related to puberty and try unconsciously to Denys the death represented mentally by that of her grandfather. The inscription in a depressive context both lack of empathetic relationships with comrades, and because of a nostalgia for grandparental life, which could translate into generalized pain on a background of gloom. Acting out in space goes in the direction of a search for balance at the different emotional levels, as well as an attempt to manage these unformulated ones. The recourse to external objects means accounting of the low coherence and valuation of internal ones in a context of weakly narcissed selfimage, leaving an internal void to persist. Clinically, the hysterical dimension could be evoked.

From Neurotic Features of Personality to different types of borderline’s Personality, with possible ^psychopathic co-morbidity.

The borderline subjects may commit trips, wanderings but more often than not, their peregrinations are poorly organized, and the encounters are not narcissistically filling, when they do not find themselves, as often, in a victimological context.

Complex structuration of the personality and travels with possible expression of transgressive Acting’s

That kind of travelers, mainly young men, with an oftennegative representation of the father’s image, who dropped out of school out early, do not carry out sustained professional training, have a disjointed love life, presents psychopathological ‘s borderline characteristics entangled in the arrangement of personality traits of the psychopathic. They have complicated paths, punctuated by different situations, even sequences according to the transgressions, to transgressive acting’s, which they can commit, especially since they are often addicted to a toxic substance. Also, to gamble and also searching a complete libertarian way of life...

We have met many of them in the context of forensic expertise’s examinations and we thought to present two cases. But, in fact, if we consider some famous ones, who left their story as paradigmatic example, It appears to present their story, sometimes a little bit equivalent, even better rather than to take up the marginal history of that subjects, which have left an aura so tenuous, that it has been dissolved in the context of inexorable advance of time and the oblivions that induces, whatever their behavioral problems and conduct on their way, sometimes enwalled with poor tricks and transgressive acting’s.

Looking towards the past, some of them have left prestigious vestiges

Some original ways of life are still permit, when people obtain the reservation of a space. Even more than in CALIFORNIA, CHRISTIANA is a territory, grant as libertarian district in COPENHAGEN: that is a community that operates independently, a self-governing society. In western FRANCE, it had existed during many years a community in the north of NANTES, in a place where should be built an airport. named Notre Dame des Lands. The project had to be abandoned but the group was disbanded 2 years later.

Many years ago: About some famous Adventurers

It’s have been demonstrated that certain explorers or even travelers of original or non-standard life in new countries - perceived as hazardous people have achieved an almost normative feat -even if remaining strongly described. For instance, Jack was one of the most famous traveler of the postwar Beat Generation after crossing the western UNITED STATES with his friend, describing his movements in « On the Road: the Original one », his experiences to the rhythms of 1950s America jazz being associated with freedom, male friendship, flighting from the nine-to-five to explore a world of sex, drugs and Arts.

a) While those of J. LACARRIERE and even H. de MONFREID were almost comfortably intellectualizing and also their textual accounts.

b) DAVID-NEEL Alexandra had taken certainly more risks by going through the TIBET to LHASSA, in the company of her adopted son dressed in his monk’s habit.

Arthur RIMBAUD could be remaining the only one true guy capable of abandoning favorable living conditions for different travel’s commitments after his break from his friend Paul VERLAINE...Even as a mercenary in the royal batavian army, which led him to JAVA, from where he deserted the dutch army. That one, who had the genius in his writing course allowing him a virtuoso manipulation of words and a poetic formulation in essence – in particular by evoking a poem which seems to occupy an intermediate place : « the Drunken Boat » - chooses to replace the verb so easy with physical actions, through the chaotic experience of authentic adventures , involving exhausting journeys and stopovers in many places in the HARRAR, near the Horn of AFRICA...His teenager’s runaways could foreshadow it. In fact, didn’t he unconsciously find his father’s footsteps. All in a more unknowed smaller world but lacking the possibility of rapid contact. RIMBAUD seems really the closest to current migrants, who are leaving not only in reason of their misery or of wars so far away, taking risk for their lives in uncertain and dangerous travels, some undoubtedly with psychopathological features and those fleeing combat zones with post-traumatic disorders.

About a Therapeutical TRAVEL

a) During the 19th century, melancolic young English people went to live in ITALY, whose artistic beauties were supposed to help them heal their spleen. In the middle of the 20th century, especially after the events of May 1968, many young people went to seek inner way or path in Asia, to experience a Zen psychic state in NEPAL or INDIA, notably in AUROVILLE, the Utopy-city. A little later, there was also the California. Quite different are the escapes, the wanderings of psychotic and schizophrenic subjects, whose relationship with reality is vague, sometimes split and whose goals of replacements obey no logic, in connection with discordance, troubles of the ideas or a persecutory delirium.

b) Travels could be Therapeutic, when the change of bearings or affective state helps the subject to find himself in a secure mode of the Self. We don’t forget also the authors able to travel of imaginary ways like Jules VERNE -who as a teenager almost ran away from the home near the harbor of NANTES but, was opportunely retained by his father-deploying later his imagination in novels and many others, even as HERGE or also Victor HUGO, who, moreover, experienced exile in GUERNESEY. Finally, among the religious, travel can also represent a holy quest, for example during pilgrimages. We have also to mention CONFUCIUS, who left a job as a high official of the Empire to wander through CHINA. It’s true that the journey to discover the aspects of GAIA refers to the stage of the baby exploring the body of his mother. Nethertheless, having to travel may depend on work. We can cite the « Companions of duty », airplane pilots, traders -including Marco POLO - or as a soldier.

c) Concerning a travel and the Aid to a psychic restoration of a Patient living far away in which we took part as Therapists. Alex had been raised by his mother, seeing his father from time to time, which could be obvious from the small island near CANADA, where he lives. He had a rather physical activity, not having done any long studies. Around the age of 20, he developed psychotic disorders: a delirious whiff with badly systematized delirium, impression of transformation of the world and bizarreries. Transferred to a specialized service in MONCTON, he could not followed for long because of the language problem and had to be sent to the medical service of the small island hospital. It was no possible to built care’s project. We are call and came there and, with his mother, we join NEWFOUNDLAND, which was crossed to reach the ST John’s airport.

There were moments of anxiety, with evocation of the end of the world and we reassured him by evoking the colors of the landscape, moments when he felt watched, especially passing cars. In fact, we often had to reassure him. In the plane, different questions. In the airport go HEATHROW, U.K., as he was staring at tow bobbies, they asked him for his identity, who precisely had identity concerns. After medical care in our hospital, he left serene. He founded a dojo on his island but, one year later, he called us for joint disorders, which in fact, participated in Rheumatoid arthritis. We know the impact of the psyche in this type of rheumatological disorder.


The search of somewhere/something else could be due to convictions as well as failures and feelings of unease of different levels, A travel or a journey may be linked to the pleasure of the discovery, to the necessity to find a better quality of the Self, to reinforce his Existing ‘s feeling. We cannot conclude by omitting the famous journeys of mythology, inter speed with scenes of heroism or sometimes periods of love: -ULYSSES from ITHAQUE : NAUSICAA,CIRCE, CALYPSO, -ENNE, from TROIE-TROJAN, who founded ROME, -PERSEUS from ARGOS who saved Andromeda, after cutting off the head of the Gorgon , light-footed ACHILLESIEGFRIED, becoming a young man, leaving home to wander or to roam in the world, acquiring invincibility after having bathed in the lake in which had flowed the blood of the snake of the forest, he had just killed.


  1. David Neel Alexandra (1955) Voyage d'une personne à LHASSA (1927) Pocket (2008) LEVI-STRAUSS Claude: Tristes Tropiques, Pocket (2001).
  2. De Monfreid Henry, Mes vies d'aventures. L'homme de la mer Rouge, Points pp. 448-451.
  3. KEROUAC Jack: on the road (1957) Gallimard, coll. Folio (2012).
  4. Lacarrierre Jacques, En cheminant avec Hérodote (2011) A FAYARD pp. 337-352.
  5. Scharbach Hugues (1988) Arts et Folie-Arts and madness CESURA LYON ed pp. 128-135.
  6. Scharbach Hugues (1989) Eprouve et sentiment de solitude dans la psychopathologie dite Etat-Limite Loneliness's feelings by Borderline Subjects: Aleikho ed. collection Psychopathology NANTES pp. 124-127.
  7. Scharbach Hugues (2012) Auto-mutilations et auto-offenses Self-Harm and Self Damage Kindle PUF PARIS pp. 124-129.
  8. Scharbach Hugues (2022) Expertises psychiatriques et medicopsychologiques ed ESKA PARIS tome 3 réédition (2019) Alexandre LACCASSAGNE LYON (1991).