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 they are 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.

Freud's description of mourning in his work has no basis in empirical method. [1]


  1. ^ Hagman, George, ed. (31 March 2016). New Models of Bereavement Theory and Treatment New Mourning. Taylor & Francis. p. preface. ISBN 9781317610519. Archived from the original (Ebook) on May 28, 2021. Retrieved May 28, 2021 – via Google books. Lay summary. Honoring the centennial of Sigmund Freud’s seminal paper Mourning and Melancholia, New Models of Bereavement Theory and Treatment: New Mourning is a major contribution to our culture’s changing view of bereavement and mourning, identifying flaws in old models and offering a new, valid and effective approach...