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Leuba, J. (1950). 'Women who Fall'. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 31:6-7.

(1950). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 31:6-7

'Women who Fall'

John Leuba

There is a narcissistic syndrome which, as far as I know, has never been described clearly and which deserves special mention on account of the constancy of a symptom which characterizes it. So far, I have observed this syndrome only in women, and moreover, though I have recognized the same group of symptoms in several men patients, it was precisely the most characteristic symptom, namely stumbling, which was missing. So until more information is available, I shall not give this syndrome any special designation, but will merely include patients suffering from it, under the heading of 'women who fall'.

Stumbling, which may occur to the extent of sudden falls in places where no physical obstacle is present to justify them, is to be seen from the beginning of the second period of childhood and remains as a persistent symptom during adulthood. (Some of my patients near their forties show it in such a high degree that one of them, struck by the frequency with which she tripped, fell full length without apparent cause, or twisted her feet, consulted a neurologist, wondering whether she had some muscular or nervous disturbance. The doctor could find no neurological disorder, but on the contrary noted that she had the muscular tone of a sportswoman, and perfectly normal limb movement.)

I had paid no particular attention to the fact that the patient had told me, with much amusement, how she had fallen flat on a pavement while chatting with her husband, and so I had not been led

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