Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To quickly return to the issue’s Table of Contents from an article…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

You can go back to to the issue’s Table of Contents in one click by clicking on the article title in the article view. What’s more, it will take you to the specific place in the TOC where the article appears.

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

Gediman, H.K. (1983). Annihilation Anxiety: The Experience of Deficit in Neurotic Compromise Formation. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 64:59-70.

(1983). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 64:59-70

Annihilation Anxiety: The Experience of Deficit in Neurotic Compromise Formation

Helen K. Gediman

SUMMARY

This paper considers the problem of annihilation anxiety as a 'test case' to question some polarization tendencies in psychoanalysis. One such polarization, deficit versus conflict, encourages either-or diagnoses, such as narcissistic or neurotic. An alternative scheme is proposed here, a continuum on which most cases are 'mixed' rather than 'pure', and where annihilation concerns along the range are reviewed and documented.

The non-specific dread of the strength of the instincts reactivates what Kohut has called early

traumatic failures in maternal empathy. Conversely, current failures in empathy may produce great intensities of signal anxiety, anticipating the helplessness of the original traumatic state. These accruals may be experienced in terms of self annihilation. It is here proposed that the term annihilation anxiety be used to refer to a variety of phenomena, including susceptibility to traumatic states, and intensities of anxiety which may always be further elaborated with conscious or unconscious mental content. Once that anxiety, whatever its origin, oedipal or pre-oedipal, is capable of psychic representation, it may become a component of intrapsychic conflict.

[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 © 2020, 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.