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Rascovsky, A. Wencelblat De Rascovsky, M. Schlossberg, T. (1950). Basic Psychic Structure of the Obese. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 31:144-149.

(1950). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 31:144-149

Basic Psychic Structure of the Obese

Arnaldo Rascovsky, Matilde Wencelblat De Rascovsky and Teodoro Schlossberg

The personality of the obese is psychologically interesting in many ways. In spite of their notorious relationship with the mania which produces their more commonly known physical aspect, psychologically they have been singularly neglected. Nevertheless their more pleasing oral characteristics often appear in caricature and the plastic arts, as also on the stage and the screen. Falstaff, Pantagruel and Sancho Panza are well-known examples. On the other hand we find the exaltation of this highly esteemed oral type in the extension acquired by its myths: Tammuz, Astarte, the Virgin and Child, Buddha, etc., are manifestations of this deification.

In partial studies which we have made public on various occasions during the last ten years, we have demonstrated psychogenic and psychodynamic apsects based on extensive research work undertaken on obese children and adolescents and on the psycho-analytical investigation of obese adults.

Two psychic mechanisms which produce obesity can be noted: that of primary obesity, resulting from the organization of an intense oral ego, and that of a reactive obesity, springing from an attempt to restore a basic depressive situation, that is to say, a form of manic recovery. Contrasting with the good adjustment in general of the primary type, the depressive-manic falls within the type known as neurotic obesity. In the case of primary obesity, satisfaction refers to an actual situation combined with an effective capacity acquired by the ego through its identifications.

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