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Hoffer, P.T. Hoffer, A. (1999). Ferenczi's Fatal Illness in Historical Context. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 47(4):1257-1268.

(1999). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 47(4):1257-1268

Ferenczi's Fatal Illness in Historical Context

Peter T. Hoffer and Axel Hoffer

In August 1932, Ferenczi was already manifesting symptoms of his fatal illness, pernicious anemia. This was diagnosed between September 20 and October 2 of that year, less than a month after the Twelfth International Psychoanalytic Congress in Wiesbaden. Despite seemingly successful treatment with injectable liver extract, he underwent an acute psychotic episode in March 1933, triggered by the neurological symptoms of his illness. These facts substantiate the subsequent claim of Freud and Jones that Ferenczi suffered from paranoia near the end of his life, but they do not support the commonly-held view that the writings and experiments in psychoanalytic technique of his last five years were symptomatic of a progressive mental illness.

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