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Scott, W.M. (1960). Symposium on 'Depressive Illness'—Iii. Depression, Confusion and Multivalence. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 41:497-503.

(1960). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 41:497-503

Symposium on 'Depressive Illness'—Iii. Depression, Confusion and Multivalence

W. Clifford M. Scott

As an introduction to my main thesis, I shall begin with a few historical notes, and continue with a summary of some recent differences of opinion.

The non-analytic literature, chiefly psychiatric, concerning depressive psychopathology, has dealt with concepts of hypo- and hyperfunctioning, inhibition, constitutional rhythms, and basic ego patterns, but the question: How can the origin of depression and elation be identified? has never been asked or answered in detail. Psychologists have had amazingly little to say about depression, grief, elation, mourning, etc.

Since 1911, analysts have recurrently dealt with the metapsychology of depression in terms of the status of zonal instincts, ego and superego interactions, and ego development, but little has been said about standards of normality with reference either to recovery from depression or mania, or to grief, normal mourning, and normal enthusiasm.

Our literature contains less about the relationship of pathological mourning to more regressed states (namely, to one of the schizophrenic states) and less about the relationship of pathological mourning to more progressive states (namely, to mania and obsessional-compulsive states) than one might expect with such a crucial metapsychological problem which stands midway between the schizophrenias and the neuroses. Each psycho-analytic contribution has, however, added something to the development of the main theory of depression itself, or has offered an alternative hypothesis.

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