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Eisler, E.R. (1954). Affective Disorders. Psychoanalytic Contributions to their Study: Edited by Phyllis Greenacre, M.D. New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1953. 212 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 23:260-263.

(1954). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 23:260-263

Affective Disorders. Psychoanalytic Contributions to their Study: Edited by Phyllis Greenacre, M.D. New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1953. 212 pp.

Review by:
Edwin R. Eisler

This book consists of papers on affective disorders presented in panel discussions before the American Psychoanalytic Association in 1950 and 1951. Despite a general area of agreement, the points of view vary considerably. The range of subjects includes responses of normal grief, neurotic and psychotic depressions, depressive equivalents, and manic states.

All the contributors accept the basic principles outlined in Freud's Mourning and Melancholia (1917) and in Abraham's The First Pregenital Stage of the Libido (1916). With the exception of a few significant departures based upon new approaches to ego psychology, the only modifications of these principles appear to be minor and semantic.

Edward Bibring reviews the changes and developments in the theoretical and clinical studies of depression since the earliest psychoanalytic principles were formulated. Before development of the structural view of physical processes, the ego was considered the 'agent' of the instinctual drives, 'whose functions were predominantly modeled by and after the drives'. Rado's The Problem of Melancholia (1928) and Abraham's A Short Study of the Libido (1924) belong to this period. Subsequently many authors began to observe that feelings of loss in grief were frequently complicated by hostility, and some equivalence was found between object-libidinal and narcissistic-ambivalent depressive responses.

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