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(1970). Israel Annals of Psychiatry. VI. 1968: Stealing as a Pathological Symptom. A. Elizur and R. Jaffe. Pp. 52-61.. Psychoanal Q., 39:509.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Israel Annals of Psychiatry. VI. 1968: Stealing as a Pathological Symptom. A. Elizur and R. Jaffe. Pp. 52-61.

(1970). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 39:509

Israel Annals of Psychiatry. VI. 1968: Stealing as a Pathological Symptom. A. Elizur and R. Jaffe. Pp. 52-61.

Elizur and Jaffe discuss cleptomania as an ego-syntonic, irresistible impulse to take another's property. The symptom can be found in neuroses, personality disorders, psychoses, and organic disorders, as illustrated by the six case vignettes cited. The psychoanalytic explanation is stressed: the symptom gives symbolic satisfaction as a compromise between the repressed impulse, 'most probably to steal the parents' love', and the restrictions of conscience. Anticipated punishment may satisfy guilt for the theft. The impulse is usually multidetermined from several fixation levels: oral (to steal mother's milk), anal (to steal, collect, and guard precious things), and phallic (to steal the penis). In addition to these libidinal determinants there are aggressive components to the theft. This must be classified as an 'impulse neurosis' occupying a position between neurosis and psychopathy, with acting out accompanied more or less by anxiety and guilt feelings. The ego and superego weakness is such patients is stressed.

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Article Citation

(1970). Israel Annals of Psychiatry. VI. 1968. Psychoanal. Q., 39:509

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