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Schlesinger, K.O. (1959). Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic. XXII, 1958: The Fear of Death. C. W. Wahl. Pp. 214-223.. Psychoanal Q., 28:565.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic. XXII, 1958: The Fear of Death. C. W. Wahl. Pp. 214-223.

(1959). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 28:565

Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic. XXII, 1958: The Fear of Death. C. W. Wahl. Pp. 214-223.

Kurt O. Schlesinger

The study of the fear of death and its unconscious meanings is easier in children than in adults. The fear of death is a preoedipal manifestation which precedes castration anxiety and is not altogether explicable as a derivative of it. The sense of infantile impotence of the child functions paradoxically to ward off fear of death by denial of personal vulnerability, but it also leads the child to take responsibility for its annihilating thoughts toward others. Only later does the child develop magical and verbal means of undoing its death wishes toward beloved and hated objects, and become fearful of its own death as retaliation for its death wishes. If frustrations are intensified in the preoedipal period, death wishes are intensified, and fear of retaliation and death anxiety are commensurately increased. Children need enlightenment not only as to whence they come but also as to whither they go, in order to avoid deep repression of the fear of death which is then heavily and expensively symbolized.

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Article Citation

Schlesinger, K.O. (1959). Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic. XXII, 1958. Psychoanal. Q., 28:565

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