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Brenman, E. (1985). Hysteria. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 66:423-432.

(1985). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 66:423-432


Eric Brenman


This paper attempts to link the symptomatology in hysteria with the hysterical personality. The view put forward is that in hysteria the patient is governed by fears of catastrophe coupled with complete denial of problems: this can result in catastrophic symptoms together with belle indifference or a personality split between total catastrophe and the belief there are no problems.

The author shows the operation of these forces on the transference/countertransference on how the 'hysteric' is governed by an external object using the same devices. The focus of the paper deals with how the hysteric uses this constellation to avoid more serious breakdown (psychosis) and how it becomes a way of life.

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