Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To access PEP-Web support…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

If you click on the banner at the top of the website, you will be brought to the page for PEP-Web support.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Fenichel, O. (1943). Notes on the Psychological Effects of War Conditions on the Civilian Population (I): Edward Glover. Int. J. Psa., XXII, 1941, pp. 132–146.. Psychoanal Q., 12:589-590.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Notes on the Psychological Effects of War Conditions on the Civilian Population (I): Edward Glover. Int. J. Psa., XXII, 1941, pp. 132–146.

(1943). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 12:589-590

Notes on the Psychological Effects of War Conditions on the Civilian Population (I): Edward Glover. Int. J. Psa., XXII, 1941, pp. 132–146.

Otto Fenichel

After mentioning a few unsuccessful attempts of general psychiatry to study the psychic reaction of the civilian population to the war, Glover reports two studies of the British psychoanalysts:

1. A questionnaire was sent to the members of the British Psychoanalytic Society inquiring about the reactions of patients to the 1938 Munich crisis. About a hundred analytic patients were reached. The majority of them reacted with a generalized disturbance or with an aggravation of the symptoms. Some responded with improvement and a small minority seemed uninfluenced. The 'upset' patients produced different forms and degrees of anxiety, or equivalents of and defenses against anxiety. The special nature of the reaction depended on the clinical type of the neurosis. The improvements were mostly reaction-formations, but it was also observed that neurotic anxieties disappeared when real danger became threatening. The patients of a Scotch colleague showed no reaction—Scotland being farther away from the danger than London. In a

- 589 -

few cases the lack of reaction seemed to be due to the repression of an acute sadistic excitement. At certain points the reports are contradictory. Some analysts believe that the analyst's behavior was of no importance whatsoever in the patient's reactions. Some were of the opinion that the reactions of the patients were directly dependent on the analyst's behavior. Wealthy private patients seemed to be more upset in general than policlinic patients; the intellectuals showed the most intense excitement. After the crisis most patients reacted as if they had been disappointed by the 'father'. Some patients showed 'delayed affects'. Opinions varied as to the therapeutic effectiveness of analysis in reference to excitement based on real danger. Foulkes believed that an interruption of his analyses was indicated because he was of the opinion that analysis would necessarily be ineffective as long as anxiety was justified in reality.

2. A study concerning the 'pre-Blitz period' was made by the Psychological Aid Center which was established in the London Psychoanalytic Institute. The material from this study was disappointing. Before Dunkirk the Aid Center had 29 consultations and half of the patients were ordinary neurotics whose disturbances showed no essential connection with the war. One patient, who came because of the fear of being bombed, turned out to have been suffering from different forms of anxiety hysteria for years. Refugees seemed to have a more pessimistic attitude than the British. In Manchester the collected data were still more uninformative than in London. There was much public opposition against governmental orders concerning evacuation and there were many attempts to deny the danger.

A following paper will discuss the experiences after the 'Blitz'.

- 590 -

Article Citation

Fenichel, O. (1943). Notes on the Psychological Effects of War Conditions on the Civilian Population (I). Psychoanal. Q., 12:589-590

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.