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(1983). Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLIII, 1979: Catastrophic Anxiety: New Aspects of the Psychoanalytic Theory of Anxiety. Jean Begoin. Pp. 89-95.. Psychoanal Q., 52:484.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLIII, 1979: Catastrophic Anxiety: New Aspects of the Psychoanalytic Theory of Anxiety. Jean Begoin. Pp. 89-95.

(1983). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 52:484

Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLIII, 1979: Catastrophic Anxiety: New Aspects of the Psychoanalytic Theory of Anxiety. Jean Begoin. Pp. 89-95.

Begoin views anxiety as a primary affect manifested in different modes according to the level of psychic functioning. In reviewing Freud and Klein on the primary form of anxiety, he feels that some modifications of the theory are in order. Until recently the primary form of anxiety seemed to be paranoid anxiety linked to setting in motion the very precocious mechanisms of splitting and idealization of the object and the self. Work with autistic children, however, suggests a phase anterior to splitting and idealization. Begoin argues that the most primitive form of anxiety is catastrophic anxiety. The feared catastrophe is the failure of a state of total dependence, being torn away from the object, separated as if one tried to separate the front and back sides of a piece of paper. This threat of the loss of narcissistic identification is experienced as a catastrophe, in the sense of a total chaos of the infantile unorganized self.

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Article Citation

(1983). Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLIII, 1979. Psychoanal. Q., 52:484

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