Depressive anxiety

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Depressive anxiety is a term developed in relation to the depressive position by Melanie Klein, building on Freud's seminal article on object relations of 1917, 'Mourning and Melancholia'.[1] Depressive anxiety revolved around a felt state of inner danger produced by the fear of having harmed good internal objects[2] - as opposed to the persecutory fear of ego annihilation more typical of paranoid anxiety.

It may be distinguished from a depressive mood, which need not necessarily be tinged with anxiety.

Stages[edit]

Depressive anxiety can be aroused at every developmental stage, from weaning through to the loss of familial dependence of adolescence or of one's youth in later life.[3] Continual oscillation between paranoid and depressive anxieties can create a sense of psychic imprisonment;[4] while conversely a lasting shift from the former to the latter can be seen as one of the marks of a successful analytic process.[5]

Defences against depressive anxiety[edit]

Defences against depressive anxiety include projective identification, whereby the anxieties are denied in oneself and placed in another person;[6] a manic denial of the reality of an inner world at all;[7] or a psychic retreat into a reduced and apathetic state of diminished feelings.[8]

Didier Anzieu saw Freud's theoretical construction of psychoanalysis as a compulsive intellectualized defence against depressive anxiety.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Neville Symington, Narcissism (1993) p. xi
  2. ^ Danielle Quinodoz, Emotional Vertigo (2002) p. 148
  3. ^ Hanna Segal, Klein (1979) p. 135
  4. ^ Danielle Quinodoz, Emotional Vertigo (2002) p. 149
  5. ^ A. Bateman/J. Holmes, Introduction to Psychoanalysis (1999) p. 179
  6. ^ Hanna Segal, Introduction to the Work of Melanie Klein (1964) p. 64
  7. ^ Hanna Segal, Klein (1979) p. 81
  8. ^ Psychic retreat
  9. ^ Didier Anziou, Freud's Self-Analysis (1986) p. 182 and p. 581

Further reading[edit]

  • Klein, Mélanie (1946). "Notes on some schizoid mechanisms". Envy and gratitude and other works 1946-1963. Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psycho-Analysis (published 1975). ISBN 978-0-02-918440-0.
  • Klein, Mélanie; Riviere, Joan (1964) "Love, guilt, and reparation" in link Love, Hate, and Reparation New York, NY: Norton ISBN 978-0-393-00260-7
  • Grotstein, James S. (1981). Splitting and projective identification. New York, NY: Jason Aronson. ISBN 978-0-87668-348-4.
  • Ogden, Thomas H. (1989). The primitive edge of experience. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson. ISBN 978-0-87668-982-0..
  • Klein, Mélanie (1952). "Some theoretical conclusions regarding the emotional life of the infant". Envy and gratitude and other works 1946-1963. Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psycho-Analysis (published 1975). ISBN 978-0-02-918440-0.
  • Segal, H. (1981). The work of Hanna Segal: A Kleinian approach to clinical practice. New York, NY: Jason Aronson. ISBN 978-0-87668-422-1.

John Steiner, in Robin Anderson ed., Clinical Lectures on Klein and Bion (London 1992) p. 46-58 ISBN 978-0415069939

External links[edit]

The following article has very good discussions of defenses. See headings defenses against paranoid anxiety and defenses against depressive anxiety.[1]

  1. ^ Jaques, Elliott (1953). "On the Dynamics of Social Structure : A Contribution to the Psycho-Analytical Study of Social Phenomena". Human Relations. 6 (1): 3–24. doi:10.1177/001872675300600101.