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(1956). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXV, 1954: The Analysis of An Adult Nail Biter. H. Michael Rosow. Pp. 333-345.. Psychoanal Q., 25:114.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXV, 1954: The Analysis of An Adult Nail Biter. H. Michael Rosow. Pp. 333-345.

(1956). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 25:114

International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXV, 1954: The Analysis of An Adult Nail Biter. H. Michael Rosow. Pp. 333-345.

This patient's nail biting represented a vengeful biting of the disappointing breast. Wechsler has stated that 'the supreme assuager of all distress [is] the mother's nipple'. Nail biting for this patient served to discharge all tensions, whatever their origin. He mastered the dangerous, phallic, devouring mother by incorporating her, an act symbolized by nail biting. Projection of his own aggressions led him to see the mother as cruel, penetrating, and devouring; suckling itself became maternal aggression in which he was passively pierced. To him people were important only as providers of narcissistic supplies. His whole life was a constant hope for gratification from a good mother, while he expected disappointment. As a result, he was bitter, vengeful, envious, and ambivalent. Orality became his refuge in the face of any internal or external threat.

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Article Citation

(1956). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXV, 1954. Psychoanal. Q., 25:114

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