Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To sort articles by author…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

While performing a search, you can sort the articles by Author in the Search section. This will rearrange the results of your search alphabetically according to the author’s surname. This feature is useful to quickly locate the work of a specific author.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Siggins, L.D. (1966). Mourning: A Critical Survey of the Literature. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 47:14-25.

(1966). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 47:14-25

Mourning: A Critical Survey of the Literature

Lorraine D. Siggins


This paper describes the psycho-analytic model of intrapsychic aspects of adult reactions to the death of a loved person. Freud's description is taken as the starting-point, and a distinction is maintained between mourning and melancholia on the ground of the level to which regression proceeds. This theoretical model, however, does not account for all the phenomena empirically observed in actual mourning. These phenomena arise from the highly complicated nature of real relationships between two people; guilt, anger, helplessness, relief, emancipation, somatic symptoms, and temporary denial may all be present in the process of normal mourning. The same reactions may also appear in a markedly exaggerated fashion when the process of mourning is delayed, protracted, or intense; these cases are classified as pathological mourning. Both normal and pathological mourning are distinguished from a third phenomenon, clinically recognizable psychiatric illness precipitated by bereavement. The variety of reactions to death at succeeding phases of life is also indicated. Finally, a select classification of relevant literature is arranged under topical headings.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2021, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.