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Schilder, P. (1941). Types of Anxiety Neuroses. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 22:209-228.

(1941). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 22:209-228

Types of Anxiety Neuroses

Paul Schilder

It was a great step forward when Freud (1926) stated that anxiety is a reaction to danger. That danger may be an external or an internal one. According to Freud anxiety is a danger-signal on the part of the ego which initiates repression. The internal danger in his view is a perception of the rising sexual impulses in connection with the Oedipus complex. If the subject were to give way to his sexual impulses he would be in danger of being punished: the love of either parent might be withdrawn from him. Furthermore, the boy might suffer castration, mutilation and dismemberment, while the girl might be torn by her father's penis or might be robbed of the inside of her body and might face mutilation and dismemberment. These formulations go beyond the Freudian formulations in so far as Freud considers only castration as the final threat. As usual, he considers in the main the castration fear of the boy and thinks of the structure of the castration fear of the girl as equivalent to that of the boy. I have repeatedly stated that in my view the castration complex of the girl differs fundamentally from that of the boy. The girl is afraid that her sexual organ may be torn by a disproportionately large male organ or that her sexual organ may be occluded; and beyond this she has a fear of losing the receptacles within her body and of having no organs in which she could receive and hold either a male sexual organ or a child.

The external danger is for the most part incompletely described in psycho-analytical literature.

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