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Deutsch, J. (2006). International Society of Neuro-Psychoanalysis, Toronto Group. Neuropsychoanalysis, 8(1):110.

(2006). Neuropsychoanalysis, 8(1):110

International Society of Neuro-Psychoanalysis, Toronto Group

James Deutsch

Edited by:
Irène Matthis

Toward the end of 2005, Eduard Bercovici, of the University of Toronto Epilepsy Research Program and Medical School, gave a lecture on Behavioral Teratology, with special emphasis on psychotropic drugs. Freud's interest in underlying chemical processes in his psychological investigations did not mean the endorsement of a shotgun approach to treatment. Psychoanalytic treatment requires patience and attention to detail, and especially sufficient time. Unfortunately, in the face of limited resources and the pressing concerns involved in the mental health of mothers during the prenatal and perinatal periods, drugs are frequently prescribed. Studies of long-term outcome on the fetus, especially during later childhood and adult development, are scarce. It is difficult to sort out the effects of drugs from maternal stress and other factors. Recent evidence unfortunately points to long-term impacts on psychological functioning of offspring, perhaps creating a new generation that will again be reliant on drugs, prescribed or illicit. Thus, the cycle can continue or accelerate, producing further morbidity in the next generation.

There was a focus on the effects of antidepressants, frequently prescribed for problems with anxiety; on anxiolytics, which overlap with alcohol in their potential long-term effects; and on anticonvulsants, increasingly used for “mood stabilization.” Not only are such studies resource-intensive and expensive, but they raise the issue of retrospective memory on the part of the mother, in terms of the various prenatal factors.

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