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Lebovici, S. (1988). Les Enfants De La Folie. By Anna Potamianou. Toulouse: Privat. 1984.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 69:564-565.

(1988). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 69:564-565

Les Enfants De La Folie. By Anna Potamianou. Toulouse: Privat. 1984.

Review by:
Serge Lebovici

In her book, which concerns the psychoanalysis of patients who have been children of psychotic parents, Anna Potamianou describes the violence of identification, that characterizes their psychic life.

We have had the opportunity to read a lot of papers concerning these children during their development. Genetic research has shown that they are at risk of becoming psychotic: 10 per cent when one parent is psychotic, nearly 50 per cent when both parents are in this condition. Many psychoanalytic contributions have illustrated these risks; they are mentioned in Potamianou's book, having been carefully checked by her. Recently the theme of violence in such families has been illustrated: for instance by Odile Bourguignon, who clearly proves, through her research, how high the incidence of psychosis is in younger brothers or sisters, following the death of an older child. In our own researches, specially on the subsequent children after sudden infant death, we have found a significant occurence of psychotic children.

In the same direction, we have had the chance to follow babies of psychotic mothers; they seem to be at risk of being abused; our longitudinal studies are demonstrating that the development of these babies is often characterized by a climate of violence which may appear soon or late.

Potamianou describes the forms of identification which may be encountered in such cases from a dynamic, enonomic and symbolic point of view, using as paradigms myths, historical situations and clinical cases.

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