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(1969). Psyche, 22, Nos. 9–11, 1968: LUTZ ROSENKÖTTER, CLEMENS DE BOOR, ZOLTAN ERDELY and INGRID MATTHES (6 Frankfurt/Main, Myliusstr. 20, Germany). Psychoanalytische Untersuchungen von Patientinnen mit funktioneller Amenorrhoe (Psychoanalytic examinations of patients suffering from functional amenorrhoea). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 50:400.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psyche, 22, Nos. 9–11, 1968: LUTZ ROSENKÖTTER, CLEMENS DE BOOR, ZOLTAN ERDELY and INGRID MATTHES (6 Frankfurt/Main, Myliusstr. 20, Germany). Psychoanalytische Untersuchungen von Patientinnen mit funktioneller Amenorrhoe (Psychoanalytic examinations of patients suffering from functional amenorrhoea)

(1969). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 50:400

Psyche, 22, Nos. 9–11, 1968: LUTZ ROSENKÖTTER, CLEMENS DE BOOR, ZOLTAN ERDELY and INGRID MATTHES (6 Frankfurt/Main, Myliusstr. 20, Germany). Psychoanalytische Untersuchungen von Patientinnen mit funktioneller Amenorrhoe (Psychoanalytic examinations of patients suffering from functional amenorrhoea)

This is a report of psychoanalytic observations with 57 women suffering from primary or secondary amenorrhoea, carried out in collaboration with the endocrinological department of the gynaecological hospital at the University of Frankfurt. Patients in whom the amenorrhoea was the result or a concomitant of other organic pathology or a severe mental disorder, such as psychotic depression or anorexia nervosa, were not included in this study. The data were obtained from 57 psychoanalytic interviews, 23 projective tests (Rorschach and ORT), three psychotherapies and one psychoanalysis. A considerable number of the patients (34) were emotionally hardly accessible in the interviews; this was seen as being in direct correlation with the patients' general lack of contact and inability to perceive emotional and interpersonal conflicts. Of the 57 patients 35 were married or had sexual relations. These numbers are not very much at variance with the average rates in that age group in the total population. This fact as well as the absence of virile or phallic types of women in the sample seemed to indicate that amenorrhoea as such cannot be interpreted as being the somatic expression of a rejection of the female role. Few data only were obtained as to the orgastic capacities of the women; but there were indications that amenorrhoeic women tend to be frigid. Of the 57 women only nine had children, totalling 11. Since only four patients were under 18 years of age, the remainder being in the age group 18–36, this number of births is remarkably small. Only one of the mothers showed a good emotional relationship to her child, while the rest of the mothers, as well as the other patients in the sample, found all aspects of motherhood difficult and negatively tinged. The marriages of the 27 wives in the sample were generally good and stable (with only two divorces and two unhappy marriages). Most of the wives presented a rather uniform picture of a sheltered existence in tidy homes with maternally protecting husbands, a state the authors have come to call the 'pregenital paradise'. Apart from three borderline cases, the patients' adaptive ego-functions were unimpaired. They kept their emotional balance with the help of rigid character defences including repression of instinctual drives and affects under the control of strict superegos and highstrung, 'clean' ego-ideals which demanded conformity, avoidance of conflict and fixation to an infantile dependence on some parental figure, the latter frequently represented by the husbands. With due caution as to the specificity of psychosomatic symptoms, the authors conclude that the unconscious meaning of amenorrhoea is avoidance of motherhood rather than rejection of the female role in general.

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Article Citation

(1969). Psyche, 22, Nos. 9–11, 1968. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 50:400

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