August 1961

Personality Structure in a Changing World

Author Affiliations

Director of Psychiatry, City Hospital at Elmhurst, New York City.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;5(2):183-185. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710140075011

Though psychoanalysis traditionally focuses primarily on intrafamilial determinants of personality structure, some historical shifts in the clinical picture have generally been noted. This holds true not only for the perfectly obvious changes in manifest content, e.g., of delusional and hallucinatory material, from a possession by the devil to the influencing machine, to various electrical and radio effects, and, during the last war, to influence by radar; it has also been noted that there is an apparent change from the frequency of gross hysterical manifestations in the time of Charcot, Janet, and the early years of Freud to an apparently increasing shift from psychoneurosis generally to relatively subtle character disorders. It is a moot point how much psychoanalytic sophistication itself, as well as the different modern socioeconomic factors, may have contributed to a change in mores that grossly permits greater personal freedom, produces less coarse repression, and

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