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Friedman, M. Glasser, M. Laufer, E. Laufer, M. Wohl, M. (1972). Attempted Suicide and Self-Mutilation in Adolescence: Some Observations from a Psychoanalytic Research Project. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 53:179-183.

(1972). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 53:179-183

Attempted Suicide and Self-Mutilation in Adolescence: Some Observations from a Psychoanalytic Research Project

Maurice Friedman, Mervin Glasser, Eglé Laufer, Moses Laufer and Myer Wohl

SUMMARY

In this paper we have attempted to trace how the developmental tasks of adolescence play a crucial role in the determination of the suicide attempts and acts of self-mutilation that our patients have carried out: we elaborated on our ideas about how the need to break the tie to the original objects results in a melancholic-like reaction and how the acquisition of a sense of ownership of the body leads to the need to destroy or mutilate the body because it is regarded as the source of regressive sexual and aggressive urges and the means of their gratification. However, a full metapsychological explanation of the meaning of attempted suicide and self-mutilation in adolescence, especially in regard to genetic considerations, still requires further clinical study.

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