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Parkin, A. (1976). Melancholia: A Reconsideration. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 24:123-139.

(1976). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 24:123-139

Melancholia: A Reconsideration

Alan Parkin, M.D.


A reconsideration of the problem of melancholia suggests that, in place of the traditional metapsychological understanding based upon a single introjection of the lost object (into the ego), one based upon a double introjection, once into the superego and once into the self-ideal, may better fit the clinical facts in which a rise in self-criticism, following the former introjection, is to be distinguished from a fall in self-esteem, following the latter introjection.

Throughout, emphasis is given to the significance of the preambivalent stage of object-relations and to the necessity of distinguishing between the early phases of the self-ideal and the archaic superego.

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