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Badal, D.W. (1964). Comment on Dr Grinberg's Paper. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 45:371-372.

(1964). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 45:371-372

Comment on Dr Grinberg's Paper

Daniel W. Badal

Dr Grinberg has done us an excellent service in describing guilt and mourning in terms of the life and death instincts and especially in terms of loss of the loved objects. We should all be grateful to him for bringing out this stimulating material. Anyone who has attempted analysis of the depressions has certainly come up against the barrier of guilt and knows its importance. However, the same material must also be examined from a more general psychodynamic view as a supplement to Grinberg's approach.

First, guilt is a painful affect, an emotion of unpleasure. As such, it is subject to the pleasure-pain principle and is defended against or tolerated to some degree.

Ordinarily there are specific ways of dealing with guilt, depending on the make-up of the person going through the experience:

i. It may remain completely unconscious, i.e. be repressed;

ii. It may be accepted into consciousness and be experienced as a reality;

iii. It may be warded off by any of the mechanisms of defence, such as projection;

iv. It may be used as a masochistic satisfaction;

v. It may be used as an aggressive weapon against other people, or against the self and therefore against those internalized figures who make up parts of the self.

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