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Van Der Heide, C. (1943). On Blushing: Sandor Feldman. Psychiatric Quarterly, XV, 1941, pp. 249–261.. Psychoanal Q., 12:301-302.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: On Blushing: Sandor Feldman. Psychiatric Quarterly, XV, 1941, pp. 249–261.

(1943). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 12:301-302

On Blushing: Sandor Feldman. Psychiatric Quarterly, XV, 1941, pp. 249–261.

Carel Van Der Heide

The author elaborates his fundamental study (1922) in which he interpreted blushing as an upward displacement of a genital excitement which is repressed by castration fear and accompanied by exhibitionism and shame. To this he now adds extremely interesting observations, such as the higher frequency of pathological blushing in men, the 'borrowed blushing' based upon an identification

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with others, blushing in relation to telling lies and the compulsion to confess, and in relation to stage fright, impotence and esprit d'escalier. Exaggerated laughing, overloud blowing of the nose, heavy drinking, as well as an artificial aggressiveness, often function as approved countermeasures to conceal the symptom. The three most important factors in blushing are predisposing libidinal situations in which castration fear is overcome by 'progression', general social traumata, and local sexual and social traumata related to the face. Among the latter, mention is made of parental admiration for a rosy complexion and praise for the blushing of the child as a sign of its virtue.

In spite of a wealth of clinical information regarding blushing, the article is disappointing because of a lack of psychoanalytic clarification and final psychosomatic analysis. The author concludes that blushing is a sign of dependence; blushers do not have a real superego but are ruled by a 'false superego' (in Hermann's sense) which forces them 'to submit to demands of the outer world without discrimination or judgment'.

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Article Citation

Van Der Heide, C. (1943). On Blushing. Psychoanal. Q., 12:301-302

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