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Teising, M. (2007). Narcissistic Mortification of Ageing Men. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 88(6):1329-1344.

(2007). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 88(6):1329-1344

Theoretical and Clinical

Narcissistic Mortification of Ageing Men

Martin Teising

The development of a male gender identity involves the task of relinquishing the identification with the female primary object. If this separation is experienced as loss or expulsion, and responded to by the development and libidinous cathexis of phallic-narcissistic characteristics, a specifically male narcissistic vulnerability emerges, which can, particularly in ageing men, escalate to critical proportions. However, phallic-narcissistic crises in the ageing process also contain opportunities for development, provided the losses of age can be faced with mourning. The author sets out the statements on the subject of old age in the myth of Narcissus and makes use of the concepts of developmental psychology. He outlines clinical examples illustrating this problem. Finally, he brings to mind the narcissistic plight of the aged Oedipus.

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