Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To see definitions for highlighted words…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Some important words in PEP Web articles are highlighted when you place your mouse pointer over them. Clicking on the words will display a definition from a psychoanalytic dictionary in a small window.

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

Riggall, R.M. (1925). Clinical: E. H. Connell. The Significance of the Idea of Death in the Neurotic Mind, 1924, British Journal of Medical Psychology, Vol. IV, p. 115.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 6:54-54.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Clinical: E. H. Connell. The Significance of the Idea of Death in the Neurotic Mind, 1924, British Journal of Medical Psychology, Vol. IV, p. 115.

(1925). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 6:54-54

Clinical: E. H. Connell. The Significance of the Idea of Death in the Neurotic Mind, 1924, British Journal of Medical Psychology, Vol. IV, p. 115.

Robert M. Riggall

In commenting on the chaotic terminology of medical psychology the author explains his use of terms such as Regression, Narcissism, Reality and Pleasure Principle. He discards the term Libido, however, in favour of 'Instinct Interest.'

It is noteworthy that the idea of death is frequently present in the neurotic mind, but absent in the physical illness. The impulse of death in the mind of the melancholiac becomes less pronounced when physical disease occurs. Connell maintains that this impulse is due to affective tension denied conative expression and unable to attach itself through regression to imaginative phantasy. The idea of death varies with the intensity of the excitement suspended between the Reality and Pleasure Principle functions. In discussing the death impulse in Melancholia, the author rejects Freud's theory of projection of hate on to the Ego on the grounds that recovery occurs, and that such projection does not relieve or comfort the melancholiac. He continues to dispute the question of projection in melancholia by comparing this psychosis with paranoia. In melancholia the affect remains unpleasurable and exists as a tension which produces the death impulse. In paranoia the affect invests the Self by projection, regression within the delusion occurring to make it one of grandeur. The absence of the suicidal impulse in paranoia is explained by this mechanism of projection.

Psychoneurotics toy with the idea of death, the most serious attempts occurring in the case of Anxiety Hysteria. The neurotic's idea of death is equivalent to quiescence and is not dealt with objectively. It is part of the pleasure principle and possesses no reality. Discussing physiological changes due to the activity of the endocrine glands, the author observes that the death tendency is absent in Graves' Disease, whereas it is present in Anxiety Hysteria. The hypothesis that hyperactivity of sex gland secretion acts on the vagus and produces vagotonus, which in turn becomes related to repression and the death tendency, is discussed at some length. In summing up it is observed that the idea of death is psychologically due to tension from withheld affect, physiologically to alteration in endocrine secretion, and biologically to failure in the functioning of the self-preservative tendency.

- 54 -

Article Citation [Who Cited This?]

Riggall, R.M. (1925). Clinical. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 6:54-54

Copyright © 2019, 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.