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(1954). Psychiatric Quarterly. XXVII, 1953: Factors Involved in the Genesis and Resolution of Neurotic Detachment. Montague Ullman. Pp. 228-239.. Psychoanal Q., 23:465.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psychiatric Quarterly. XXVII, 1953: Factors Involved in the Genesis and Resolution of Neurotic Detachment. Montague Ullman. Pp. 228-239.

(1954). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 23:465

Psychiatric Quarterly. XXVII, 1953: Factors Involved in the Genesis and Resolution of Neurotic Detachment. Montague Ullman. Pp. 228-239.

The author describès detachment as a defense mechanism characterized by extraordinary disregard for, and unconcern about, others. It is a way of defense against one's environment based on the delusion that it is both possible and necessary to disregard the real needs of people and to exist in a state of isolated independence. This mechanism of defense is developed in children whose parents regard them as things rather than people. The parental demand is for automatic conformity. When the pressure for conformity becomes too great, the child attempts to adjust by giving up human feelings. Since this is impossible, it simulates by disguising, ignoring, and restraining all impulses incongruous with its goal. Detachment is the characterological defense designed to establish and maintain the profound degree of self-alienation necessary to this type of adjustment.

When the child is involved tangentially and its existence is not significant to the neurotic drive of either or both parents, its defense is not crippling and is compatible with some degree of adjustment and accomplishment. A case illustrative of this type is presented. Where the child's existence forms the focal point of a destructive neurotic need of its parents, the defensive structure is rigid and its breakdown results in paranoid hostility. This type is seen among psychotics and borderline cases.

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Article Citation

(1954). Psychiatric Quarterly. XXVII, 1953. Psychoanal. Q., 23:465

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