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February 1969

The Obsessive Personality.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969;20(2):247-248. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740140119018

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Dr. Salzman has written a most engaging and instructive book. It is a timely one too, because, as he says: "The obsessive-compulsive personality type is today's most prevalent neurotic character structure . . . (and) the obsessional defensive mechanism provides the most widespread technique for enabling man to achieve some illusion of safety and security in an uncertain world." After stressing the book's pertinence, he describes the obsessive personality, placing considerable emphasis on the obsessive's inability to make a commitment and his omniscience, grandiosity, rituals, and need to control every eventuality. He presents "normal" adaptive obsessive behavior on a spectrum with the obsessional personality and the obsessional neurosis, and correlates these clinical states with depression, phobias, schizophrenic disintegration, addictions, paranoia, and sociopathy. The last section of the book deals with treatment, which the author insists must focus on present, not past, events: "the possibility

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