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Shengold, L. (1971). More about Rats and Rat People. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 52:277-288.

(1971). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 52:277-288

More about Rats and Rat People

Leonard Shengold


I have reviewed some of the meanings of the rat imago for patients who have been seduced and traumatized as children. The rat is used as a hallmark for active and passive cannibalistic impulses, chiefly associated with anal erogeneity. I have stressed the importance of the tooth as the primal aggressive tool and speculated about the significance

of teething. Some of the ego pathology of 'rat people' was described and exemplified, especially their extensive use of alterations of consciousness that makes possible vertical ego splits consisting of unacknowledged but powerful 'personalities' that appear and disappear. These people operate under the sway of the compulsion to repeat past traumata whose central content appears to be overstimulation.

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