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Tarachow, S. (1966). Coprophagia and Allied Phenomena. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 14:685-699.

(1966). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 14:685-699

Coprophagia and Allied Phenomena

Sidney Tarachow, M.D.


1. The clinical syndrome of coprophagia with nose picking and hair pulling and eating is described.

2. Its clinical relationship to obsessional neurosis and depression is noted.

3. The relationship to daydreaming and time disturbances is indicated.

4. The relationship to certain specific mechanisms such as undoing, rumination, and procrastination is indicated.

5. The narcissistic quality and impaired object relations of the syndrome are indicated, as well as the relationship to certain perversions.

6. The central factor of the attitude to the stool and the trauma of the narcissistic and megalomanic loss of control and body parts is indicated.

7. The attitude of the stool in the development of object relations is discussed.

8. A contrast is drawn between the transitional object of Winnicott and the attitude to the stool, which is part of the child, not part of the mother.

9. It is suggested that in coprophagia and its derivatives the stool is not an object, but is still a part of the child's body in its infantile and megalomanic sense.

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