Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To sort articles by sourceā€¦

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

After you perform a search, you can sort the articles by Source. This will rearrange the results of your search, displaying articles according to their appearance in journals and books. This feature is useful for tracing psychoanalytic concepts in a specific psychoanalytic tradition.

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

Brenman, E. (1985). Hysteria. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 66:423-432.

(1985). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 66:423-432

Hysteria

Eric Brenman

We generally regard as health, a capacity to meet the realities of life (external and internal), and that this capacity is capable of growth. In illness, excessive defences are employed as a way of dealing with the vicissitudes of life, stunting development and increasing the fears of negotiating reality. In this paper, I explore a psychic organization which we tend to call hysteria. I hope to show how the 'hysteric' feels held together by his defences and faulty object relationships and simultaneously mutilates and is terrified of reality.

At first I thought I had very little use for the concept of hysteria and regarded it as an obsolete diagnosis which was part of the history of psychiatry and psychoanalysis, yet at the same time I felt I could not ignore it, as something like hysterical features occurred so frequently and so pervasively in clinical work. I think that many features which are regarded as hysteric have now been refined and understood in more detailed ways—such as the studies of narcissism. Freud himself had a great deal to say on the subject in his early writings (1893–5) but seemed to depart from the theme as more knowledge was acquired about psychopathology.

I wondered if the diagnosis of 'hysteria' was meaningful and when I discussed this with colleagues, I found many who shared this view. A few colleagues said they did not know what hysteria was but they knew an hysteric when they met one. This view is not without its value because

[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 © 2017, 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.