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Benedek, T. (1936). Dominant Ideas and their Relation to Morbid Cravings. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 17:40-56.

(1936). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 17:40-56

Dominant Ideas and their Relation to Morbid Cravings

Therese Benedek

Rado, in his most recent paper, has provided a schematic basis for the process at work in morbid cravings and placed our understanding on such a broad foundation of clinical experience and analytical knowledge that we are entitled to assume that we have properly grasped the laws which govern the course of its development. His investigations commence at the point at which the preliminary depression has reached a stage when psychical means no longer suffice to master it unaided, and the ego has recourse to medicinal remedies.

Accordingly we have still to enquire into the question whether the preliminary depression presents a uniform clinical picture, and if not, as to the nature of the libidinal structure and morbid processes which furnish a compelling motive for the 'pharmacothymic discharge' of the tension produced by conflict.

The problem pertaining to the libidinal structure has likewise been clarified to a & eat extent. Since the earliest relevant work of Abraham and Rado, a large number of analysts have brought forward abundant confirmatory material to show that a strong oral fixation and the associated disposition to states of depression provide the libidinal conditions for morbid cravings. Nevertheless, discussion arose as to their nature and essence, more correctly, as to the specific morbid process by means of which the oral fixation leading to addiction is liberated. On this point, we have as yet not reached unanimity.

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