Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To receive notifications about new content…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Want to receive notifications about new content in PEP Web? For more information about this feature, click here

To sign up to PEP Web Alert for weekly emails with new content updates click click here.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Hárnik, J. (1930). One Component of the Fear of Death in Early Infancy. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 11:485-491.

(1930). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 11:485-491

One Component of the Fear of Death in Early Infancy

J. Hárnik

A chance psycho-analytical observation suggested to me that the fear of suffocation might play a considerable part in the earliest development of a child, a part of which we have not seen the significance hitherto. In the case of a young girl who underwent analysis on account of certain intellectual inhibitions, the work led to discussion of the clumsiness she had in general exhibited as a child, and especially to the want of aptitude she had shown in her swimming lessons. Her awkwardness in this came, of course, chiefly from anxiety, which rapidly developed and rose to such a pitch that, for a period, she always vomited on her way to the swimming-bath. In the analysis she clearly recollected that she had always been afraid of drowning. In her associations to this, the danger of being thus suffocated was connected with much earlier occasions on which she had feared suffocation and had shown similar reactions. Recollections of early childhood showed that when drinking milk she had experienced most painful sensations, arising from the forcible compulsion which, owing to her resistance, had always had to be applied, especially by the servants, to make her drink. At first it seemed that perhaps her mouth had once been burnt and that her behaviour arose from fear of a repetition of the injury; but it appeared indubitable that she had every time been threatened by suffocation accompanied by heaving, choking, and difficulty in swallowing. (Even now the smell of warm milk gives her a slight feeling of suffocation in the throat.)

One was compelled to connect this early dread of suffocation with the little schoolgirl's water-phobia by the spontaneity with which unmistakably related material turned up in the analysis.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.