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(1959). Psychiatric Quarterly. XXXI, 1957: The Narcissistic Mortification. Ludwig Eidelberg. Pp. 657-668.. Psychoanal Q., 28:116-117.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psychiatric Quarterly. XXXI, 1957: The Narcissistic Mortification. Ludwig Eidelberg. Pp. 657-668.

(1959). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 28:116-117

Psychiatric Quarterly. XXXI, 1957: The Narcissistic Mortification. Ludwig Eidelberg. Pp. 657-668.

The author defines narcissistic mortification as the experience by the total personality

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of a sudden loss of control over external or internal reality by virtue of which the emotion of terror is produced and a damming-up of narcissistic libido or destrudo is created. This unpleasure can be differentiated from the unpleasure that arises from the damming-up of object libido or destrudo. The emotion of terror is distinguished from that of fear. In fear, defeat is not experienced but is anticipated as imminent (signal anxiety). A narcissistic mortification is overcome by regaining the lost control and unblocking the dammed-up narcissistic libido. A narcissistic mortification which is not mastered may be denied or repressed to protect oneself against being overwhelmed by its appearance in memory (repetition compulsion). A mild mortification may result in a healthy creative impulse or an increase in the mastery of reality. A milder self-created mortification may act as a defense against the more severe repressed one, the appearance of which would lead to terror.

The ideas expressed in this paper are similar to Freud's concept of the traumatic experience giving rise to instinctual or traumatic anxiety. The narcissistic mortification may be considered as a traumatic anxiety or neurosis arising from a narcissistic mortification.

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Article Citation [Who Cited This?]

(1959). Psychiatric Quarterly. XXXI, 1957. Psychoanal. Q., 28:116-117

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