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May 1935

Psycho-Analysis and Medicine: A Study of The Wish to Fall Ill.

Arch NeurPsych. 1935;33(5):1140-1141. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1935.02250170226020

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New presentations on psychoanalysis are welcome, particularly when they are based on clinical experience and also when they tend to bring the field closer to general medicine. This book is a decided contribution along such lines in that the author endeavors to show how nervous or mental illness may be an expression on the part of the patient of a wish to be ill in order to escape from the more uncomfortable fundamental difficulty. Some of the comments showing the purpose of this work are:

"Neurotic symptoms are defenses designed to prevent anxiety from developing when repression threatens to give way... It is claimed that psychogenic illness is a piece of behavior as purposive as putting up a hand to ward off a blow. The purpose of this kind of illness is to prevent anxiety from developing." Psychoanalysis, despite the exuberance of some of its converts, is not a gospel