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Toward the Biology of the Depressive Constellation

Toward the Biology of the Depressive Constellation TOWARD THE BIOLOGY OF THE DEPRESSIVE CONSTELLATION’ THERESE F. BENEDEK, M.D. In “Instincts and Their Vicissitudes” (1915) Freud (12) came to the conclusion that “instincts are subordinate to the three polari- ties which govern mental life as a whole” and states these three antitheses as “subject-object,’’ “active-passive,” and “pleasure- pain.” In the same paper he discussed the anaclitic origin of libido and on this basis proposed that ego instincts and libidinal instincts are not antagonists ab origine. In 1917 he published :‘Mourning and hlelancholia” (1 3) in which he demonstrated ex- plicitly that a process which is necessary for survival-alimenta- tion-leads to that organization of the mental apparatus which is responsible not only for the pleasure of the mind but also for its anguish. The earlier studies of depression were concerned mainly with conflicts between the individual’s superego and the psychic repre- of his experiences during the oral phase of develop sentations ment. On one hand, the rapid development of psychoanalytic ego psychology and, on the other hand, the study of psychosomatic manifestations necessitated a better understanding of growth and maturation. This, however, renewed the problems inherent in the anaclitic nature of psychic energies and brought about a fresh http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association SAGE

Toward the Biology of the Depressive Constellation

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References (23)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
0003-0651
eISSN
1941-2460
DOI
10.1177/000306515600400301
pmid
13357379
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

TOWARD THE BIOLOGY OF THE DEPRESSIVE CONSTELLATION’ THERESE F. BENEDEK, M.D. In “Instincts and Their Vicissitudes” (1915) Freud (12) came to the conclusion that “instincts are subordinate to the three polari- ties which govern mental life as a whole” and states these three antitheses as “subject-object,’’ “active-passive,” and “pleasure- pain.” In the same paper he discussed the anaclitic origin of libido and on this basis proposed that ego instincts and libidinal instincts are not antagonists ab origine. In 1917 he published :‘Mourning and hlelancholia” (1 3) in which he demonstrated ex- plicitly that a process which is necessary for survival-alimenta- tion-leads to that organization of the mental apparatus which is responsible not only for the pleasure of the mind but also for its anguish. The earlier studies of depression were concerned mainly with conflicts between the individual’s superego and the psychic repre- of his experiences during the oral phase of develop sentations ment. On one hand, the rapid development of psychoanalytic ego psychology and, on the other hand, the study of psychosomatic manifestations necessitated a better understanding of growth and maturation. This, however, renewed the problems inherent in the anaclitic nature of psychic energies and brought about a fresh

Journal

Journal of the American Psychoanalytic AssociationSAGE

Published: Jun 1, 1956

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