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(1921). Discussion of Tic. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 2:477-482.

(1921). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 2:477-482

Discussion of Tic

Dr. J. Harnik recognised especially the great similarity between traumatic neuroses and tic which Ferenczi had pointed out both as regards the (motor) symptoms and the conjectured mechanism of origin of the disease. A case of generalised tic, which he had had the opportunity of investigating analytically for some time, led him to suspect that an uncontrolled, strong affect of fright (e.g. as a result of libidinal fright traumata) was the precipitating etiological factor of the disease. It seemed to him that in such cases—as Freud had similarly found in the traumatic neuroses—the mental machinery, as a result of the traumatic experience, was overwhelmed with a mass of (libidinal) stimuli which could not any longer be controlled by the customary mechanism of repression. The motor symptoms of tic then served as a safeguard against these libidinal demands in the sense Ferenczi had indicated.

Dr. Abraham said that the term tic had been originally used equally for entirely heterogeneous symptoms, such as 'tic douloureux' (trigeminal neuralgia), facial nerve spasm, and many compulsive motor symptoms, as well as for those conditions which were today termed tic.

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