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(1954). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXIII, 1952: Further Remarks About Schreber's Hallucinations. M. Katan. Pp. 429-432.. Psychoanal Q., 23:141-142.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXIII, 1952: Further Remarks About Schreber's Hallucinations. M. Katan. Pp. 429-432.

(1954). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 23:141-142

International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXIII, 1952: Further Remarks About Schreber's Hallucinations. M. Katan. Pp. 429-432.

In a previous paper dealing with Schreber's hallucinations, the author developed the theory that a hallucination is based upon the anticipation of a danger. When psychosis occurs, there exists, alongside of the psychotic part of the personality, another part which tries to maintain contact with reality. Whenever the nonpsychotic ego anticipates a situation in which homosexual feelings might gain the upper hand and lead to orgasm—which would mean the breaking off of contact with reality—the ego interferes. The cathexis of the dangerous homosexual urge is withdrawn, and its energy is used in forming the hallucination. As

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this happens, the energy evaporates; the hallucination is therefore a discharge phenomenon.

But if the hallucination serves to prevent a danger, why is it nevertheless accompanied by anxiety? A particular hallucination is discussed in which Schreber observed the sun following his movements, an observation that caused him extreme anxiety. The author interprets the sun as symbolizing Schreber's penis as well as the person of Professor Flechsig, who excited Schreber homosexually. The movements of the sun symbolized the movements of Schreber's penis as a result of his being sexually aroused by Flechsig, and they appeared to give rise to anxiety such as he would have felt if his penis had reacted. The anxiety demonstrates the relative weakness of the defensive function of the hallucination. Schreber's unconscious homosexual attachment to Flechsig was so strong that it formed a resistance against being given up. This resistance prevented, in so far as it was able, energy from being withdrawn from the homosexual urge. There accordingly remained in the unconscious of the nonpsychotic layer of the personality a certain cathexis of the attachment to Flechsig, and this cathexis continued to constitute a danger to the ego. The energy of this remaining cathexis evaporated in the form of a hallucination. The ego in the nonpsychotic layer was then able, through anxiety formation, to cope with the remnant of the unconscious urge. Psychotic symptom formation (the hallucination) therefore coöperated with a nonpsychotic phobic mechanism to overcome the danger.

From the content of another group of hallucinations, the author deduces that Schreber's nonpsychotic ego was aware of its own state of disintegration and was therefore too weak to ward off in real life the danger arising from the homosexual urge. For this reason hallucinations were formed in anticipation of the danger.

AUTHOR'S ABSTRACT

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Article Citation

(1954). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXIII, 1952. Psychoanal. Q., 23:141-142

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