Anti-Semitism and Emotional Disorder: A Psychoanalytic by Nathan W. Ackerman

By Nathan W. Ackerman

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The general picture is one of weakness and incompleteness in total personality organization, and fear of injury in a vast variety of social contexts. Because of their inner weakness and negligible insight, these patients view the outer world as hostile, evil, and inexplicably hard. They fail to see any relation between their own personalities and whatever difficulties they experience. This is, of course, the result of projection—which will be discussed later. THE PSYCHODYNAMICS OF ANTI-SEMITISM 29 Authors of detective stories and murder mysteries know as well as psychiatrists that nothing is more terrifying than the unknown danger.

Anxietj. As is characteristic of analytic patients, all the individuals included in this study suffered from anxiety. In most instances, however, a large component of the anxiety was of a special nature: it was diffuse, pervasive, relatively unorganized, and not adequately channelized through specific symptom-formation. Generally it was not experienced as a conscious dread but manifested itself indirectly in various forms of social discomfort and disability. ) A few illustrations of this pervasive anxiety may clarify the matter.

They require proof that their rival is completely crushed. One woman patient (Case 1), had changed her profession four times, starting on a subordinate level and changing into related fields with superior status and prestige. Nevertheless, she does not seem to derive any gratification from her success or from the exercise of her professional skill. Although past forty, she is giving time and energy to training in order to achieve an even more finportant position. But, once achieved, this highly craved position loses it value for lack of any meaningful relationship to her way of living.

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