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Rosenfeld, H. (1949). Remarks on the Relation of Male Homosexuality to Paranoia, Paranoid Anxiety and Narcissism. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 30:36-47.

(1949). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 30:36-47

Remarks on the Relation of Male Homosexuality to Paranoia, Paranoid Anxiety and Narcissism

Herbert Rosenfeld


1 Enlarged from a short communication read as part of a symposium on Male Homosexuality in the British Psychoanalytical Society, November 17, 1948.

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The problems I wish to discuss concern the interrelations between homosexuality and paranoia, paranoid anxiety and narcissism. As early as 1908, Freud discussed with some prominent analysts of that time, particularly Ferenczi and Jung, the intimate relationship which he felt invariably existed between paranoia and latent homosexuality; and since then many papers on paranoia have appeared in the analytic literature. Most of the earlier and some of the later authors think that the projection of the latent homosexuality is the most important factor in this disease. Ferenczi in 1912 went so far as to suggest that paranoia may be simply a distorted form of homosexuality. Freud (1911, a) stated his views on paranoia in his Schreber case. There he put forward his famous formula for paranoia, of how the consciously unbearable homosexual feelings are changed into hostile ones for defensive purposes, and then projected. At the same time he demonstrated that the projective mechanism could be used for other purposes:

In the beginning of the disease (dementia paranoides), all object cathexis is withdrawn from the objects of the environment and regression to narcissism

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