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Halberstadt-Freud, H.C. (1993). Postpartum Depression and Symbiotic Illusion. Psychoanal. Psychol., 10(3):407-423.

(1993). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 10(3):407-423

Postpartum Depression and Symbiotic Illusion

Hendrika C. Halberstadt-Freud, Ph.D.

A review of the literature reveals how little has been published by psychoanalysts about the important subject of postpartum depression. This article offers a way of looking at the phenomenon from a transgenerational perspective. The concept of symbiosis is taken from the mother's point of view as well as from the baby's. It is defined as a delusional two-person fantasy of mutual dependence rather than as a normal phase of development. The analysis of a case of postnatal depression is presented to illustrate the clinical and theoretical implications of this viewpoint and how it was applied in treatment.

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