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.

Searles, H.F. (1969). A Case of Borderline Thought Disorder. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 50:655-664.

(1969). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 50:655-664

A Case of Borderline Thought Disorder

Harold F. Searles

Mr Bennett, a mathematician in his early 30s, who was working as a computer-programmer for IBM, stated in his initial interview that he had come for analysis in dissatisfaction with himself for 'not wanting to face the reality of things—wanting to pospone things, not face up to them. I keep myself busy so as not to face up to them'. This rather small, slight, erect and precise person seemed confident and outgoing—seemed a comfortable man of action. But I felt him to be, behind this appearance, a markedly passive-dependent person, who sat silent much of the time waiting for me to initiate conversation.

His wife, who unlike him had already had some years of analysis and who suffered from a variety of psychosomatic ailments, had called me some several weeks previously, wanting analysis and tearfully indicating that she despaired of being able to endure her husband much longer. I referred her to a colleague. This added to an early impression of mine that Mr Bennett had felt coerced by her into seeking analysis, an impression which he soon confirmed. I privately noted the broad, sadistic smile with which he spoke of his wife's ulcer symptoms, and of the fact that while they had been living in Chicago he had made 31 business trips away totalling 19 weeks, in one year—after his having made clear to me that such trips always caused her much distress. At the end of the initial interview, one of the notes I made said: 'Inquiry as to what he was experiencing during the silences suggests that he may have considerable difficulty with his thinking processes.

[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.