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Pfeifer, S. (1922). Disappointment in Love During Analysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 3:175-179.

(1922). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 3:175-179

Disappointment in Love During Analysis

S. Pfeifer

The patient whom I am treating for sexual impotence, was passionately in love with a girl who gave every indication of a corresponding feeling. As he intended to marry her, it was this love which led him to be analysed. When he proposed to the young lady, however, after some weeks of analysis, he received an unexpected but quite definite refusal. As a result he fell into a condition of which I will give the main features as they showed themselves during the immediately succeeding hours of analysis.

The patient became quite incapable of work, since he could not bring to it the necessary interest, although he made the attempt. He could not recall anything said, even though he was conscious of having listened. His sister and employer were concerned about his condition, but he was indifferent to them and remembered either not at all or very incompletely what they had said to him. Yet it appeared in the analysis that there had been an understanding of his sister's comforting words, though to some extent elaborated. Until the second day after the shock he had no physical sensations, apart from an oppressive general feeling of discomfort. Not until the second analysis period did he find that his shoe was hurting his foot. The first evening he was quite seriously occupied with thoughts of suicide, and depicted to himself how he would arrange it, how the bullet would take off the top of his skull, etc. Still earlier he was busy with thoughts of sending to his faithless sweetheart an insulting and crushingly scornful letter. He had no appetite, and took nothing except some liquid food at night. 'In spite of that', he said, 'I have had awful uneasiness in the bowels, with flatulency-pains.' In addition he suffered from total sleeplessness.

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