26 Slices
Medium 9780946439591

IV. HYSTERICAL DREAM-STATES (1910)

Abraham, Karl Karnac Books ePub

IN a recently published paper,2 Lowenfeld has dealt with certain peculiar disturbances in neurotics which have not previously been given sufficient consideration in the literature of the subject. As an introduction to my subject I will quote Lowenfeld’s general description of these states. He says: ‘The external world does not make the usual impression on the patient. Familiar and every-day things seem changed, as though they were unknown, new and strange; or the whole surroundings give the impression of being the product of a phantasy, an illusion, a vision. In the latter case in particular it seems to the patients as though they were in a dream, or half asleep, or were hypnotized or somnambulic; and they generally speak of these conditions as their dream-states.’ The author also says that these states differ greatly in degree, exhibit considerable variations in their duration, are often associated with the affect of anxiety and are, as a rule, accompanied by other nervous symptoms, Lowenfeld bases his description on a considerable number of medical histories. I myself have come across these states in a number of patients whom I have treated by psycho-analysis. Since these dream-states have not been dealt with from a psycho-analytical point of view up to the present, I will give the main results of my observations in the following pages. They form a further addition to the knowledge derived from psycho-analysis concerning the nature of episodic phenomena in the clinical picture of hysteria.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780946439591

VIII. MENTAL AFTER-EFFECTS PRODUCED IN A NINE-YEAR- OLD CHILD BY THE OBSERVATION OF SEXUAL INTERCOURSE BETWEEN ITS PARENTS (1913)

Abraham, Karl Karnac Books ePub

THE editor of this Journal has asked for accounts of dreams occurring in childhood the interpretationof which would justify the conclusion that the dreamer had witnessed sexual intercourse at an early age. The following contribution only in part satisfies this request, in that in this case the observation of parental sexual intercourse did not take place in the earliest years of childhood, but in all probability took place immediately before the occurrence of the dream which I am about to relate and of the concomitant neurotic anxiety. Nevertheless, I consider it worth publishing, because the case shows with more than usual clearness how a child disposed to neurosis reacts to an event of this nature.

Some time ago I was called in to see a little girl of nine and three-quarters who had recently begun to suffer from anxiety states.

Ten days before the consultation the child had been put to bed as usual in the evening. After having slept for a good hour she called for her mother with screams of fear, Her mother, who was in the next room, went to her, and the little girl told her a dream with every sign of terror. She said: ‘A man wanted to murder you in bed, but I saved you\ While relating this she still could not distinguish between dream and reality. When her mother tried to soothe her she said with a horrified expression, ‘Oh, you aren’t my mother at all’, She then showed fear of objects in the room, mistaking them for animals. It was some time before she cotild be pacified; but she then slept till morning. On waking she declared that she had slept well and undisturbed during the night, and that she felt quite welL When her parents questioned her cautiously (and hence only superficially) it appeared that she did not remember the episode.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780946439591

XIV. THE SPENDING OF MONEY IN ANXIETY STATES (1917)

Abraham, Karl Karnac Books ePub

THE attitude of the neurotic to the possession of money has been the subject of much study in psycho-analytic literature. Both Freud and other analysts who have followed him in directing their interest to ‘ anal’ character-traits have dealt with neurotic avarice and the anxious retention of money from the point of view of unconscious motives; but the opposite behaviour of many neurotics, the excessive spending of money, has not received the same attention, although the psycho-analyst frequently comes across it. This tendency appears suddenly in many neurotics, like a kind of attack, and stands in conspicuous contrast to their usual parsimony.

From the few cases that I have been able to observe during my psycho-analytic work, it seems to me that this condition is found in a definite group of neurotics—in persons who are in a state of permanent infantile dependence on the parental home and who are attacked with depression or anxiety as soon as they are away from it. The patients themselves say that the spending of money relieves their depression or anxiety; and they produce rational explanations for this, such as that spending money increases their self-confidence, or that it distracts them from their condition. Psycho-analysis takes the unconscious into consideration and adds a deeper explanation to this purely superficial one.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780946439591

XV. A PARTICULAR FORM OF NEUROTIC RESISTANCE AGAINST THE PsYCHO-ANALYTIC METHOD (1919)

Abraham, Karl Karnac Books ePub

WHEN we begin to give a patient psycho-analytic treatment we make him acquainted with its fundamental rule to which he has to adhere unconditionally. The behaviour of each patient in regard to that rule varies. In some cases he will easily grasp it and carry it out without particular difficulty; in others he will frequently have to be reminded of the fact that he has to make free associations; and in all cases we meet at times with a failure to associate in this way. Either he will produce the result of his reflected thoughts or say that nothing occurs to him. In such a situation the hour of treatment can sometimes pass without his producing any material whatever in the way of free association. This behaviour indicates a ‘resistance ‘, and our first task is to make its nature clear to the patient. We regularly learn that the resistance is directed against allowing certain things in the mind from becoming conscious. If at the commencement of the treatment we have explained to the patient that his free associations give us an insight into his unconscious, then his refusal to give free associations of this kind is an almost obvious form for his resistance to take.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780946439591

XXI. AN INFANTILE SEXUAL THEORY NOT HITHERTO NOTED (1925)

Abraham, Karl Karnac Books ePub

APATIENT in whose childhood there had been an unusually severe struggle between repression and sexual curiosity recounted to me during psychoanalysis two childish theories of procreation. The first was that the man embraces the woman and kisses her, and when this happens some of his spittle passes into her mouth and produces a child in her. Besides this theory, with which the psycho-analyst is familiar, the patient had constructed a second, according to which the man’s breast, when he embraces the woman, excretes milk which passes into her breast.

I had never heard of this infantile theory before. It certainly does not belong to the primary theories of sexuality which are formed by all children with a great degree of uniformity. Moreover, it was proved that the theory was constructed when the patient had already passed the age at which the primary theories are formed. Now since the views of children in later years vary greatly according to the different external influences to which they are subjected, there would be little reason to spend time over this secondary sexual theory about which the patient told me. But the analysis of it helped me to understand better one of the common primary theories of reproduction, and this seems to justify me in making the present communication.

See All Chapters

See All Slices