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De La Vega, G. (1967). Revista Uruguaya De Psicoanalisis. VIII, 1966: Mania: How the Ego Triumphs over the Superego through Being Fooled. Angel Garma. Pp. 7-24.. Psychoanal Q., 36:476-477.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Revista Uruguaya De Psicoanalisis. VIII, 1966: Mania: How the Ego Triumphs over the Superego through Being Fooled. Angel Garma. Pp. 7-24.

(1967). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 36:476-477

Revista Uruguaya De Psicoanalisis. VIII, 1966: Mania: How the Ego Triumphs over the Superego through Being Fooled. Angel Garma. Pp. 7-24.

Gabriel De La Vega

A Study about the Depth of Ego Regression in Mania. Arnaldo and Mathilde Rascovsky. Pp. 25-65.

Addiction as a Manic Defense. Jaime Tomas. Pp. 67-76.

Omnipotence and Mania. Mario Martins. Pp. 77-104.

Present Concepts about Mania. Maria P. Manhaes; E. Portella Nunes; and Adolfo Hoirisch. Pp. 105-124.

Additional Comments about 'Present Concepts'. Rodolfo Agorio; Mercedes F. de Garbarino; Hector Garbarino; Marta Lacava; Vida M. de Prego; Luis E. de Prego. Pp. 125-138.

Garma does not agree with the formulation that mania is primarily the result of a 'bribe to the superego' and therefore the liberator of the ego elements. Although this factor may be involved, there is also present the self-deception of the ego with the masochistic undertone of surrendering to the punishing and severe superego. This concept is more in agreement with the suicidal intent frequently apparent in hypomania. With the masochistic surrender, there is a devaluation of the love object and a predominance of the 'bad object'. The phenomenon is possible because of the feelings of omnipotence and denial which have as a counterpart socially accepted religious euphoria, which Garma attributes to the surrender of the ego and 'so-called identification' with Father God. The personality does not recognize the surrendering to sadistic superego images, the need to gratify masochistic wishes, or the prevalence of the death wish.

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Like Melanie Klein, Rascovsky postulates 'a manic position', stressing the foetal stage and the predominance of denial. The presentation is based on biological and sociological factors; no clinical evidence is given. The abstracter believes that the author idealizes the foetal position of the unborn child, that the conclusions are far-fetched, and that although regression is used in the libidinal sense, recent concepts of regression are ignored and no consideration is given to structural theory.

Tomas discusses the similarities between addiction and mania. While he is aware that the basic essential difference is the use of a drug, in both clinical entities there is the need to deny part of the psychic life, to modify, change, or abolish any painful perception of external stimuli, and to deny that internal sensations and id derivatives can be temporarily controlled. In the addict, the drug is compared to the blood circulation in foetal life. It is an object that has been idealized even though it might eventually hurt or destroy. The devaluation of the ego, the need to project, the magic thinking, and the way of handling time almost follow a parallel course in both clinical entities.

Other articles consider mania a disease and not a 'position'. They do not emphasize the masochistic aspects nor the concept of a regression to the foetal psychic life, but deal primarily with defensive maneuvers that are economically unfeasible. The ego temporarily appears to solve the conflict but eventually becomes depleted and shows excessive idealization and intense envy of the object. Intense dependency has a counterpart in the feelings of omnipotence that are brought about by ego dissociation, projection, introjection of the projected object, sadism, and finally emptiness. That is why the manic triumph is so short-lived and cannot bring a steady state with any degree of homeostatic equilibrium.

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Article Citation

De La Vega, G. (1967). Revista Uruguaya De Psicoanalisis. VIII, 1966. Psychoanal. Q., 36:476-477

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