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Adroer, S. (1996). Fixation Of Asthma And Sexual Impotence At Different Pregenital Stages. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 77:787-802.

(1996). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 77:787-802

Fixation Of Asthma And Sexual Impotence At Different Pregenital Stages

Salvador Adroer

Most psychoanalytic writers believe that both asthma and sexual impotence depend on fixations at the early stages of the Oedipus complex. Through psychoanalytic study of patients with both disorders, the author believes that this problem may be considered from another angle whereby the fixation of sexual impotence is situated at the early stages of the Oedipus complex, while asthma depends on fixations at the level of the breast although its character is also triangular. It is the author's opinion that in studying the psycho-pathogenesis of these afflictions it is important to distinguish between basic and defensive phantasies, since it is the former which reveals the level of object relations where the malady is situated. Defensive phantasies include, owing to regressive and progressive movements, objects and defences from other levels and therefore cannot be used for the investigation of levels of fixation. In the cases presented, the aim of the psychosomatic symptom is, in asthma, to avoid the collapse of the self while, in impotence, it is to avoid castration anxieties, when the introjected object does not provide sufficient cohesion to the self or is experienced as persecutory. At first the patient uses manic defences but should these fail, further defences are resorted to (contraction of the bronchioles in asthma and inhibition in sexual impotence), and these give rise to the psychosomatic symptom.

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