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Kardiner, A. (1932). The Bio-Analysis of the Epileptic Reaction. Psychoanal Q., 1:375-483.

(1932). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 1:375-483

The Bio-Analysis of the Epileptic Reaction Language Translation

Abraham Kardiner

1. Methodological Orientations. Trauma and Privation.

It is not premature at this date to say that the application of the libido theory to the traumatic neurosis and to the epilepsies has left a considerable residue of unsolved problems. The application of the libido theory may have produced satisfying "explanations," but more tangibly it has failed to open up new avenues of fruitful research. Such a failure does not prove the libido theory to be wrong. Rather it indicates that some supplementing of the theory itself may be necessary and calls for a more critical survey of the material which the libido theory fails to explain. Such a survey may show wherein we have failed to recognize the true difference between the traumatic neurosis and epilepsy on the one hand, and on the other, those neuroses in which the libido theory has been so eminently successful and productive.

The present essay is devoted to such a survey and comparison. We confine our attention to two syndromes, the traumatic neuroses and the epilepsies. These two symptom complexes have little if any resemblance to each other if they are judged by Kraepelinian standards. From a metapsychological point of view, however, they are very closely related. We have elected to study these two syndromes because they represent a continuous series of reactions which differ in certain quantitative respects. In these two neuroses the libido theory has not been very provocative.

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