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Willarp, C. (1924). Internationale Zeitschrift für Aerztliche Psychoanalyse.. Psychoanal. Rev., 11(1):77-82.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Internationale Zeitschrift für Aerztliche Psychoanalyse.

(1924). Psychoanalytic Review, 11(1):77-82


Internationale Zeitschrift für Aerztliche Psychoanalyse.

Clara WillarpAuthor Information

(Vol. IV, No. 6, 1916-17)

1.   Metaphysical Supplement to the Theory of Dreams. SigmundFreud.

2.   Mourning and Melancholia. SigmundFreud.

3.   Dr. C. G. Jung's Psychology of the Unconscious Processes. AdolfF. Meyer.

1.   Metaphysical Supplement to the Theory of Dreams.-The purpose of this article is to render clear the mechanism of wish-fulling hallucinations. For the better' understanding of pathological conditions, says Freud, it is advantageous to draw comparisons with what may be called the normal analogies of these conditions, with mourning, for example, with sexual passion, or with dreaming. In preparing for sleep, people take off the outer covering of their bodies, lay aside those devices of which they make use to replace what is lacking in their various organs, spectacles, false hair, false teeth, etc. We can imagine the psyche going through an analogous process in going to sleep, divesting itself also of acquired complements; so that in both bodily and spiritual sense people find themselves in sleep in pretty much the same condition they were in at the beginning of the developmental processes in life. The physical condition in sleep is a return to the state in the body of the mother-a state of quiescence, of warmth, of withdrawal from stimuli-sometimes even a foetal position of the body is assumed. The psychic condition is one of complete cessation of interest in the outside world. Herein psychoanalysis sees a regression to an earlier developmental period, that of narcissism. The effort of the wish to sleep, however, is sometimes only partly successful, for not all the cravings repressed into the unconscious obey it, and besides there are remnants of the day experiences which retain a certain amount of energy. Though not of themselves very powerful, these remnants acquire sufficient force to destroy the narcissistic oblivion when, in the foreconscious, they are strengthened by affective charges from the unconscious, thus forming the dream wish. This wish, seeking expression, has three possible paths open to it; it might proceed directly from the foreconscious to consciousness, a path

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never taken in sleep, however; or, circumventing consciousness, it might find a way directly to motor activity, as in somnambulism; the third path is that really taken in dreams, retrogressively to the unconscious and thence to consciousness, as sense perceptions. The completion of the dream process thus consists in the elaboration of the content, composed of the day remnants and the unconscious craving, into conscious sense perceptions. The wish is hallucinated and is believed to be reality. This latter part of the dream work is the most difficult to understand and receives some elucidation from the mechanism of certain mental diseases. The same processes are met with in acute hallucinatory confusion, in amentia (Meynert's), and in the hallucinatory phases of schizophrenia. The hallucinatory delirium of amentia is so unmistakably a wish fulfilment phantasy that the name hallucinatory wish psychoses may be applied to affections of this sort. The hallucinatory phase of dementia precox has not been so well studied, but as a rule the hallucinations seem to be of composite nature and probably arise from wishes in the direction of restitution, being essentially an attempt to again endow the idea of the object with libidinous affect. The process of hallucinatory wish fulfilment, whether in dreams or elsewhere, is composed of two entirely separate performances. Not only are the repressed wishes brought to consciousness, but they are placed there in the form of having been fulfilled. Freud holds that no one of the factors-that the dream is a conscious wish, that it is a sense perception, or that it is a regression-in itself furnishes sufficient explanation for the belief in the reality of the dream or the hallucination and accounts for the wishfulfilling principle as resulting from a reversional disappearance of the reality test, or capacity of distinguishing real experiences conferring true satisfaction from imagined experiences. At the beginning of our psychic life we do not possess the reality test and the first orientation of the helpless organism in the world comes with the development of the ability to recognize “inner” and “outer,” which itself is connected with the power of putting a termination to painful stimuli from the outer world through motor activity. This capacity belongs to the conscious perceptive system and is one of the great institutions of the ego, comparable to the censors between the different conscious systems. Pathological conditions, better than dreams, illustrate the mechanism of the hallucinatory wish fulfilling principle. Amentia, for example, is the reaction to a loss which the reality critique maintains is real, but which the ego denies as intolerable. Hereupon the ego, withdrawing a certain energy charge from the conscious perceptive system, breaks off the relation with reality, setting aside the reality test so that the repressed phantasies surging into consciousness are there valued as better realities. In the dream there is withdrawal of energy (libido interest) from all systems alike; in the transference neuroses, there is withdrawal of energy from the foreconscious; in

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schizophrenia, from the unconscious; and in amentia, from the conscious system.

2.   Mourning and Melancholia.-Freud here compares the normal effect of mourning with pathological melancholy. In descriptive psychology, he says, the idea of depression or melancholia is very indefinite, appearing under a variety of clinical pictures which it seems almost impossible to subsume under a single entity. To gain unity of view he emphasizes the resemblances of the two conditions. The mechanism of mourning may be described as follows: the reality test shows that the loved object no longer exists and gives the command that the libido must be withdrawn from it. This arouses opposition, for human beings do not willingly give up a libido position even when there is a substitute. The opposition may be so strong that there is a pathological reaction-the reality principle is deflected and the object is retained in the form of a hallucinatory wish psychosis. In the normal course, however, the respect for the reality test finally gains the victory. Melancholia may, like mourning, be the reaction to the loss of a real object but in some instances the object lost is not recognized and may be considered unconscious. In mourning there are retardations and loss of interest in the environment for a certain period; in melancholia there are the same retardations and absence of interest, though seemngly without cause. But the symptom which above all others distinguishes pathological depression from mourning is the prevailing idea of unworthiness. Depressed patients believe themselves morally lost, reproach themselves with all sorts of shortcomings, and stand in constant fear of punishment. They extend their self-accusations over the entire past and future, believing themselves wholly beyond redemption. They refuse food and achieve the very remarkable conquest of that fundamental instinct which makes all living things hold fast to life. From the analogy with mourning one would be led to conclude that depressed patients have suffered a loss in the form of an external object; from their own statements it would seem that they have suffered a loss in their own ego-a part of the ego seems to have split itself off, to have opposed itself to another part and to be sitting in critical judgment on that part. From close attention to the complaints of these patients, however, it becomes manifest that the reproaches ill fit the patient's self, or that with slight modifications they fit another person better, someone whom the patient loves, has loved, or ought to love. And here we have the key to the disorder. The reproaches are really directed against a loved object. A real injury has been suffered from this object; disillusionment follows; but the result is not the annulment of the libido; it brings about only a displacement of the same, not in the direction of a new object, but toward the ego itself, where there is an identification of a part of the ego with the object that has been renounced. The shadow of

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the object falls athwart an element of the ego, as it were, so that this element is judged by a critical component as an object apart. In this way it is that the loss of the object is transformed into a loss in the ego. The conditions rendering possible this displacement are that the emotional endowment should never at any time have been very stable and that the first choice of the object should have been made on narcissistic grounds. Identification with the ego is the primitive manner of choosing an object and the emotional expression toward the object is originally ambivalent, taking the forms of both tenderness and cruelty, as revealed in the oral or cannibalistic level of the libido connected with taking food. Abraham, therefore, rightly refers the refusal of food by persons suffering from melancholia to a taboo connected with the cannibalistic level.

The ambivalence solves the riddle of the tendency of depressed patients to commit suicide, which makes this disease so interesting and so dangerous. The analysis of melancholia teaches that a person can only kill himself when through the recoil of the emotional endowment belonging to the object the self is valued as an object. In this case sadistic tendencies in the person's self are turned against the ego which has been identified with the object and complete satisfaction of the sadism is found in the self-accusation and attempts at self-injury.

One of the most remarkable peculiarities of melancholia and the one which is most in need of explanation is the tendency to turn into an exactly opposite condition, i.e., into mania. One would be inclined to exclude instances of this sort from psychogenic affections altogether were it not for the fact that psychoanalysis has been successfully used in the treatment of cases with cyclothymic course, thus not only permitting the extension of the explanation of depression to mania, but making this extension imperative. Both affections are due to the same complex, which in depression has overcome the ego, while in mania the ego is triumphant, in analogy with what happens in alcoholic intoxication when the repressive forces are broken down. The obvious ambivalence in melancholia point to the unconscious system as the theater of the conflicting affects. There are three conditions connected with melancholia: (1) Loss of the object. (2) The ambivalence conflict. (3) The regression of the libido to an earlier level. The first two conditions are met with in mourning when pathological features of self-accusation develop, but in these cases the manic phase is never encountered so that this latter reaction must be essentially connected with the third condition, the regression of the libido to the narcissistic level. It may be that the conflict in the ego acts like a painful wound calling for an extreme counteractive energy resulting in the manic phase. The author, however, remarks that more insight must be gained into the economy of the physical processes before they can be used to explain their psychical analogies.

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3.   Dr. C. G. Jung's Psychology of the Unconscious Processes.-The author reviews the position taken by Jung in this article, calling special attention to the points in which Jung differs from Freud. Jung claims that neither Freud nor Adler have covered the whole ground of the unconscious processes. The foundation of Freud's theory (the sexual) is feeling and in his application of it to pathological manifestations he has reference to introversion only. The foundation of Adler's theory is the will, the standpoint of thought, of which the characteristic manifestation is extroversion. Jung feels the necessity of formulating an entirely new theory embracing all forms of psychogenic disturbances. He assumes that the neurotic conflict always arises between a specialized or adapted function and an undifferentiated complementary one, usually in the unconscious. In the introverted type the conflict is between thought and unconscious feeling; in the extroverted, between feeling and unconscious thought. The neurotic conflict declares itself when the person finds himself in a situation where an adaptation which makes demands on an undifferentiated complementary function is necessary. For example, a man who has spent his life in ambitious money making and has acquired power thereby, wishes to spend his money in enjoyment. He enters for the first time upon a situation which he can face only by means of a feeling component and falls into a neurosis because this component in his personality is undeveloped or undifferentiated. The object of treatment, according to Jung's views, is to bring the unconscious or indifferentiated part of the personality clearly to consciousness, so that it can be used in adjustment to life. It is not possible to call this energy slumbering in the unconscious into activity without assistance, and it is the office of the physician to supply this assistance. All possible infantile affects are transferred to the physician; he becomes father, mother, teacher, etc. He also sometimes becomes a devil or a god, and in this circumstance Jung sees the evidence of a super-personal unconscious, i.e., a collective primitive unconscious. Jung aims not only at a reductive analysis by which the dreams and thoughts are separated into their reminiscent elements, but also at a constructive synthesis of the soul. Dreams are interpreted not merely in relation to past experiences, but they are considered to have a significance for the future of the dreamer, and to indicate mental tendencies which may be used for the better adaptation of the personality. In the unconscious where these dreams and conflicts originate, are found not only personal remembrances, according to Jung, but an entire domain, hitherto undiscovered, which embraces the experiences of countless centuries in a complete phylogenetic history.

Meyer states that from Jung's present work he can draw no other inference than that Jung, partly because of ignorance of Freud's views and partly because of resistances in his own personality, has utterly failed to grasp the idea of the unconscious and the importance of repressions

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However, as Jung seems to be sincere, his claims that his conclusions are in advance of Freud's views may be modified by a better acquaintance with the real scope of Freud's discoveries.

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Article Citation [Who Cited This?]

Willarp, C. (1924). Internationale Zeitschrift für Aerztliche Psychoanalyse.. Psychoanal. Rev., 11(1):77-82

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