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Mittelmann, B. (1940). Euphoric Reactions in the Course of Psychoanalytic Treatment. Psychoanal. Rev., 27(1):27-44.

(1940). Psychoanalytic Review, 27(1):27-44

Euphoric Reactions in the Course of Psychoanalytic Treatment

Bela Mittelmann, M.D.

In some patients, in the course of analytic treatment, a reaction is observed occasionally, with the following features: The patient has a feeling of particular well being and if he is able to verbalize well he will speak of feeling elated or exalted; together with this goes hopefulness, abundance of plans, talkativeness and increased useful activity and appetite. In the course of these phenomena, however, the patient often becomes aware of anxiety and possibly of other disturbing symptoms. As compared with a hypomanic attack the intensity of euphoric manifestations is mild; further there is no flight of ideas. The duration of the reaction is short; it usually lasts from morning to the next analytic hour.

The analytic material will be presented and worked up in this paper with emphasis on two points: (1) The patient's anxieties and helplessness in certain situations and her attempt to cope with her difficulties and reach certain aims through various devices. (2) Detailed emotional data, and their connection with the patient's broader attitudes.

I.K. A 25-year-old unmarried white woman came to analysis complaining of attacks of anxiety and of homosexuality. “Homosexuality” was actually given as a complaint by the patient. She also stated that she had difficulties in her relationships with people. She was afraid to be intimate with them because something would go wrong with the relationships; when she truly revealed her character, she assumed, no person would remain friendly with her. Since the beginning of her homosexual affair she has not had intimate friends. She had difficulties in her attitude toward her work. If she carried out a task with particular success and was praised by her superior, she was afraid that she would fail in the future and would be subject to disapproval. In such situations, then, her work actually suffered. Nevertheless, she was fairly successful in her profession.


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