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Blum, H.P. (1974). The Borderline Childhood of the Wolf Man. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 22:721-742.

(1974). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 22:721-742

The Borderline Childhood of the Wolf Man

Harold P. Blum, M.D.


The case of the Wolf Man has been surveyed in terms of psychoanalytical theoretical developments subsequent to 1918 and 1928. The Wolf Man affords an extraordinary opportunity for

longitudinal developmental study. It is suggested that the patient suffered, not from an infantile neurosis, but from a borderline condition with episodes of infantile psychosis. The infantile psychotic episodes recurred in the paranoid states of adult life. The Wolf Man's famous dream is re-examined as a nightmare in terms of ego response and later revival of analogous ego states. Freud's reconstruction of the primal scene at 18 months is reviewed with particular attention to the possible traumatic role of malaria, and the effect of trauma during the rapprochement phase of separation-individuation. Problems of separation-individuation, and narcissistic disorder and regression are emphasized.

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