By Moses Laufer;M.Egle Laufer
During this e-book, Moses and Egle Laufer contend that critically disturbed children should be assessed and handled psychoanaytically, and that their disorder differs from related ailment in older sufferers, and that the psychopathology has its conflicts over the sexually mature physique.
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Extra info for Adolescence & Developmental Breakdown: A Psychoanalytic View
It is a break down in the process of integrating the physically mature body image into the representation of oneself. Whatever the actual disorder, the specific interference in the 23 DEVELOPMENTAL BREAKDOWN developmental process that can be defined as adolescent patho logy is contained in the adolescent's distorted view of and rela tionship to his body, expressed via hatred or shame toward the sexual body. Unlike the child or the adult patient, the adoles cent patient experiences his body as the constant representative of that which will overwhelm him with painful or frightening fantasies and emotions.
We believe that in such cases several factors are at work—dissocia tion from one's physically mature body; sudden collapse of the oedipal identifications; failure of the defenses against the oedi pal aggression and the accompanying fantasies of destruction, incest, and hatred of one's own body. The guilt inherent in this process may help explain the suicides and attempted suicides of some adolescents, which we believe are aggressive attacks on the internalized parent and at the same time are attacks on the person's own body, at that moment experienced as separate from the rest of oneself and as not belonging to oneself.
When we then look at the adolescent's history more closely, we generally detect signs of earlier pathology. A colleague has observed that a number of adolescents admitted to the acute ward of a men tal hospital "broke down" following their first emission or soon after the beginning of menstruation. When these patients were asked about their immediate fear or panic, they explained it on the basis of their "confusion," or they said that certain feelings drove them mad. Sometimes, more specifically, they said that they either wished for intercourse with the parent of the oppo site sex or became terrified by the thought that they would kill one of their parents.