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(1966). Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. CXXXIX, 1964: Nosophobia and Hypochondriasis in Medical Students. R. C. A. Hunter, J. G. Lohrenz, and A. E. Schwartzman. Pp. 147-152.. Psychoanal Q., 35:158.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. CXXXIX, 1964: Nosophobia and Hypochondriasis in Medical Students. R. C. A. Hunter, J. G. Lohrenz, and A. E. Schwartzman. Pp. 147-152.

(1966). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 35:158

Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. CXXXIX, 1964: Nosophobia and Hypochondriasis in Medical Students. R. C. A. Hunter, J. G. Lohrenz, and A. E. Schwartzman. Pp. 147-152.

The particular 'hypochondriasis of medical students', found in about seventy per cent at one time or another, is observed as an occupational psychiatric disorder occurring during a university course. Since the ominous therapeutic and prognostic implications of hypochondriasis do not apply in this particular group, the authors have proposed the term 'nosophobia'. 'Nosophobia' may be triggered by the fact that the human body, its secrets, birth, death (about which an intense curiosity has previously been subjected to prohibition) becomes the object of intensive study in medical school. Unlike true hypochondriasis, with its strong element of narcissism, the medical student's feeling of ill health can be fairly quickly dispelled. From a number of examples, the authors conclude that the central mechanism of the 'nosophobic' symptom is an identification with a sick person and that parapraxes may result from the reversal of this mechanism, namely, the identification of the patient with oneself. The crucial defenses appear to be projective or introjective identification occurring with an occupationally re-enforced hypercathexis of mind and body functions.

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Article Citation

(1966). Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. CXXXIX, 1964. Psychoanal. Q., 35:158

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