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Grotjahn, M. (1943). A Psychological Study of Eczema and Neurodermatitis: Milton L. Miller. Psychosomatic Med., IV, 1942, pp. 82–93.. Psychoanal Q., 12:440-441.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: A Psychological Study of Eczema and Neurodermatitis: Milton L. Miller. Psychosomatic Med., IV, 1942, pp. 82–93.

(1943). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 12:440-441

A Psychological Study of Eczema and Neurodermatitis: Milton L. Miller. Psychosomatic Med., IV, 1942, pp. 82–93.

Martin Grotjahn

After giving a summary of the psychoanalytic literature on eczema and neurodermatitis, the author reports two cases of his own.

The first was a patient who hopelessly tried to defy his father, to outdo him without ever accepting the necessity of first developing his own ability. In a parallel way he wished 'to make a world's record' by analyzing himself

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in a few weeks. Longing for the good mother and the concomitant attempt to compete with men, brought about fear of men's hostility. He then tended to submit to men but his masochistic femininity frightened him. He felt too guilty to exhibit himself in a successful manner. This conflict finally drove him to exhibit himself, not as a successful male, but as a defeated and sick person. The severe eczema was a part of this pathetic exhibitionism. After the exhibitionistic defenses had been mobilized in the analysis the skin erupted severely. During the analysis he gradually began to understand the deeper conflicts and there was some improvement of the skin condition.

In the second case, a similar narcissistic need was expressed in a more realistic way. In both patients the skin disease offered an expression of chronic unsatisfied emotional tensions which could not be discharged in other ways because of a deep conflict. The exhibitionism which expressed the patients' competitiveness and the defense against it also served their need to impress and to command attention by showing others their diseased skin.

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Article Citation

Grotjahn, M. (1943). A Psychological Study of Eczema and Neurodermatitis. Psychoanal. Q., 12:440-441

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