103 Chapters
Medium 9781855750869

10. The Psycho-Analysis of a Case of Hysterical Hypochondria. [1919]

Ferenczi, Sandor Karnac Books ePub

IN consequence of the wearisome and slow progress of its method of cure psycho-analytic technique entails the blurring of the general impression of a case, and the individual factors of its complicated connections force themselves on the attention only intermittently.

In what follows I shall communicate a case whose cure was very rapid and whose clinical picture, both in form and content very varied and interesting, unfolded itself dramatically, almost without interruption, like a series of cinematograph pictures.

The patient, a pretty young foreigner, was brought to me for treatment by her relatives, after various other methods of cure had been tried. She made a very unfavourable impression. Her most prominent symptom was a very marked anxiety. Without being exactly agoraphobic, she had for months been unable to exist without being accompanied at every moment; if she were left alone, the most intense attacks of anxiety occurred, even at night she had to waken her husband or whoever happened to be sleeping with her and tell them about her ideas and feelings of anxiety for hours on end. Her complaints were of hypochondriacal bodily sensations and the fear of death associated with them. She felt something in her throat,’ points’ were coming out of her scalp (these sensations compelled her constantly to touch her throat and the skin of her face); her ears were lengthening, her head was splitting in front; her heart was palpitating, etc. In each such sensation, for whose occurrence she was constantly looking, she saw an indication of her approaching death; she had thoughts too of suicide. Her rather had died of arterio-sclerosis and that now seemed imminent to her; she would also (like her father) become insane, and would have to die in the asylum. She at once constructed a new symptom out of the fact that at the first examination I explored her throat for possible anaesthesia or hyperesthesia. She had constantly to stand in front of the mirror and look for changes in her tongue. The first interviews passed in continuous, monotonous complaints about these sensations, and the symptoms seemed to me to be of an unmodifiable, hypochondriacal, insane type, especially as a few such cases were still fresh in my memory.

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44. Dread of Cigar and Cigarette Smoking. [1914]

Ferenczi, Sandor Karnac Books ePub
Medium 9781855750869

43. Micturition as a Sedative. [1915]

Ferenczi, Sandor Karnac Books ePub
Medium 9781855750869

77. The Analysis of Comparisons. [1915]

Ferenczi, Sandor Karnac Books ePub

MANY patients have the tendency to express their ideas and fancies by comparisons. Sometimes they are far-fetched analogies, little suited to express what the patient wants to make clear, but often the comparisons are really apt, clever, or witty. I find that these productions of the person analysed deserve particular attention and that they often give direct access to hidden psychic material. I should like to demonstrate this by a few examples, and for this purpose select the comparisons of a few patients who never tired of remarking on their impressions of the progress of the analysis. Here are comparisons of psycho-analysis.

The analysis is tedious] said one patient;’ it is like the irksome work of separating poppy from rice seeds’

The choice of this comparison was not accidental: the’ searching for seed’ led straight to childish themes— infantile fixation—in the patient’s life.

The work of analysis is like the shelling of pods] said another patient;’ one throws away the shells and keeps the beans’ The analysis of this idea led deeper. The patient recalls that as a child he called the little bits of faeces that his sister passed’ beans’ . A path was opened up from this memory that led to the patient’s anal erotism.

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55. Interchange of Affect in Dreams. [1916/17]

Ferenczi, Sandor Karnac Books ePub

AN elderly gentleman was wakened at night by his wife, who was alarmed because he laughed so loudly and unrestrainedly in his sleep. He explained later that he had had the following dream:’ I was lying in my bed; an acquaintance came in; I wanted to turn up the light, but could not do it. I tried again and again—in vain. Thereupon my wife got up out of bed to help me, but she could not manage it either; but because she was embarrassed before the gentleman at being in her ntgligi she finally gave it up and went back to bed again; all this was so comical that I had to laugh exceedingly at it. My wife said, “ Why do you laugh, why do you laugh? “ but I only went on laughing,—till I wakened.’ The following day he was very depressed and had a headache—’ From laughing so much that I was exhausted’ , he thought.

Considered analytically the dream seems less cheerful. The’ acquaintance’ who entered is, in the latent dream thoughts, the figure of death evoked on the previous day as the’ great unknown’ . The old gentleman, who suffers from arterio-sclerosis, had on the previous day had occasion to think of dying. The unrestrained laughter takes the place of weeping and sobbing at the idea that he must die. It is the light of life that he can no longer turn up. This sad thought may have become associated with recently intended but unsuccessful attempts at cohabitation, in which not even the help of his wife in her ndgligt was of any avail; he was aware that he was already upon the downward path. The dream work was able to transform the sad idea of impotence and death into a comic scene, and the sobbing into laughter.

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