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September 2, 1939

THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF PSYCHOANALYSIS TO THE STUDY OF PSYCHOSIS

JAMA. 1939;113(10):918-925. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800350028009
Abstract

The interest of general psychiatry in the discoveries of psychoanalysis, and of psychoanalysis in the study of psychoses, have both greatly increased in recent years. In consequence, many of the contributions of psychoanalysis to the study of psychosis are widely known. But they are often looked at with various distortions of perspective. Thus a few enthusiasts consider them a complete explanation of psychotic phenomena. Others regard them as incidental and fail to recognize the almost revolutionary impetus they have given to all branches of modern psychopathology. Still more common has been the error of considering one aspect of the contributions of psychoanalysis to the study of psychosis as though it were the whole. The recognition of sexual symbols in schizophrenic thought, for example, are not infrequently regarded as Freud's chief contribution to this disease. Or the demonstration that the psychotic individual seeks pleasure in infantile ways is labeled a "fixation,"

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