Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To bookmark an article…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Want to save an article in your browser’s Bookmarks for quick access? Press Ctrl + D and a dialogue box will open asking how you want to save it.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Silver, D. (1977). The Unconscious Significance of Contact Lenses. Ann. Psychoanal., 5:217-226.

(1977). Annual of Psychoanalysis, 5:217-226

The Unconscious Significance of Contact Lenses

Donald Silver, M.D.

Over ten million people in this country, 75 per cent of whom are females, have been fitted for contact lenses in the last fifteen years (Mandell, 1974). Of those seeking contact lenses between the ages of 17 and 24, about 80 per cent are female (U.S. Vital and Health Statistics, 1971p. 10). Despite the fact that regular glasses have become very fashionable in recent years, the number of women wearing contact lenses has increased, though research shows that many abandon their lenses after wearing them for only a short time.

These facts raise several questions. Why do females constitute the majority of contact—lens wearers? Why are three out of five of the women wearing lenses adolescent females between the ages of 17 and 24 (U.S. Vital and Health Statistics, 1971p. 11)? Why do these women give up their lenses within a short period of time? And, finally, why do these late adolescent women abandon their lenses as they reach full sexual maturity? These questions suggest that the reason for the use of contact lenses include the operation of unconscious fantasy.

Multiple Meanings of Contact Lenses

The references to contact lenses in analytic material undoubtedly have many different unconscious meanings. Although clinically I have found the introduction of the subject of lenses associated with a rich proliferation of unconscious fantasy, it is my intention here to delineate those few categories of meaning I have most often observed. The cases I have studied have all been young women, with the exception of one middle-aged woman who wished to be a young girl again. Some of the unconscious issues will be illustrated in the examples that follow.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.