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Arlow, J.A. (1984). Disturbances of the Sense of Time—With Special Reference to the Experience of Timelessness. Psychoanal Q., 53:13-37.

(1984). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 53:13-37

Disturbances of the Sense of Time—With Special Reference to the Experience of Timelessness

Jacob A. Arlow, M.D.

ABSTRACT

Disturbances of the experience of time are examined, with emphasis on the effects of the vicissitudes of the sense of self, affect, unconscious fantasies, and ideas concerning death. The manifest experience is interpreted as a derivative of unconscious, conflict-laden fantasies. Disturbances of the experience of time may be regarded as specific types of affective states, pleasurable or unpleasurable, the quality of the experience being determined by the nature of the underlying unconscious ideational content. Two experiences of timelessness are analyzed, in which the sense of timelessness was determined by the wish to extend time indefinitely. Many elements have been condensed into this basic wish which, as in a dream, was momentarily experienced as already realized.

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