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Ferenczi, S. (1916). Letter from Sándor Ferenczi to Sigmund Freud, undated. The Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Sandor Ferenczi Volume 2, 1914-1919, 112-114.

Ferenczi, S. (1916). Letter from Sándor Ferenczi to Sigmund Freud, undated. The Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Sandor Ferenczi Volume 2, 1914-1919 , 112-114

Letter from Sándor Ferenczi to Sigmund Freud, undated Book Information Previous Up Next

Sándor Ferenczi

[Budapest, undated]1

Dear Professor,

I want to answer honestly and in sequence the three main questions that you posed to me in your last letter.

I. (Inner theater of war).

a) I think you are quite right in not wanting to involve yourself in my inner struggle with pieces of advice, but I think that you can go ahead and share interpretations with me (e.g., the interpretation about the cigarette case that I drew).—

My condition is one of constant fluctuation; objectively considered, I find it very interesting.

The symptoms—up to now almost entirely somatic—are beginning to encroach upon the psychic field. Somatic: heart palpitations, tachycardia (always, even at night, 120 and higher), feeling of heat, thirst. (Dr. Lévy found nothing in the internal organs.) Psychic: tiredness, total lack of endurance, unbelievable, tormenting impatience, e.g., in the theater, in the evening, during the last analytic hour, etc. Trembling.

I interpret this as a poisoning of the psychosomatic organism with libidotoxin; this corresponds to my assumption of the economic role of genitality as a repository of libido from all organs. Only the periodic genital unburdening makes room for new libidinal matter. If genitality wanes (as is presently the case with me), then the libidinal matter accumulates in the organs and has a toxic effect. The symptoms remind one of morbus Basedowii;2 but who knows whether the latter isn't based on a disturbance of sexual metabolism, to which the thyroid disease is secondarily associated.

The tiredness and inability to work (impatience) can also be traced to the overloading of organs (also the psychic ones) with libidinal matter. The organs lose their capacity for adaptation; they can only do their work in conjunction with an immediate libidinal bonus; they again obey the pleasure principle, withdraw partially also from doing the work which is required by the organism, and live for themselves, for their own pleasure.

Such a poisoning may also be the basis for the neurasthenias and the disorders of menopause; here, too, the genital metabolism is disturbed. (This condition of mine also throws light on the psychology of impatience in general.)

The constant feeling of heat in me reminds me of the warmth in the skin of homosexuals, who are called “warm brothers” [warme Brüder] for that reason.

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