Mourning and Melancholia

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Mourning and Melancholia
AuthorSigmund Freud
Original titleTrauer und Melancholie

Mourning and Melancholia (German: Trauer und Melancholie) is a 1918 work of Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis.

In this essay, Freud argues that mourning and melancholia are similar but different responses to loss. In mourning, a person deals with the grief of losing of a specific love object, and this process takes place in the conscious mind. In melancholia, a person grieves for a loss he is unable to fully comprehend or identify, and thus this process takes place in the unconscious mind. Mourning is considered a healthy and natural process of grieving a loss, while melancholia is considered pathological.(or referring to the disease)


  • Freud, Sigmund (1917). "Trauer und Melancholie" [Mourning and Melancholia]. Internationale Zeitschrift für Ärztliche Psychoanalyse [International Journal for Medical Psychoanalysis] (in German). Leipzig and Vienna: Hugo Heller. 4 (6): 288–301. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  • Clewell, Tammy (March 2004). "Mourning Beyond Melancholia: Freud's Psychoanalysis of Loss" (PDF). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. 52 (1): 43–67. doi:10.1177/00030651040520010601. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 7, 2012. Retrieved August 12, 2014.