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Baruch, G. (1997). The Manic Defence In Analysis: The Creation Of A False Narrative. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 78:549-559.

(1997). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 78:549-559

The Manic Defence In Analysis: The Creation Of A False Narrative

Geoffrey Baruch

The author presents clinical material from the analysis of a patient who made sense of his chaotic life by creating seamless narratives in the analytic situation. Initially, his experience of meaning was derived from the form of his narrative. He repeatedly constructed the ‘perfect’ narrative, which he related to as a real object and as an object of reparation. There was a significant change in his narrative style and his experience of meaningfulness when he was able to struggle with the contradictions, ambiguities and inconsistencies in his life. The author argues that the patient's earlier narrative style, which he calls the manic narrative, is an aspect of the manic defence, whereas his later approach, when he relinquished the manic narrative in favour of a genuine experience of meaningfulness, was a move towards accepting depressive anxiety and acknowledging the state of his objects.

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