Neurotic Disorders. Mental Regression in Compulsive Neurosis
Published on Wednesday, July 6th, 2011 at 1:45 am and is filed under Mental Health
In the case of compulsive neurosis the patient with severe oedipal desires had motives to kill women and cut off his penis. This is the typical distortion of the incestous desire for compulsive neurosis. The patient said about the murder of his mother, in fact, referring to sexual intercourse with her. His sexual dreams are obviously of a sadistic nature, that means, manifested not only an infantile attachment to his mother, but also specifically sadistic distortion of the attachment.
In a compulsive neurosis is certainly found implicit or explicit penchant for cruelty and reactive formation against it. Anal-erotic impulses and protection against them can take many forms. Jones earlier than other analysts pointed to a combination of a compulsive neurotic and anal eroticism cruelty. Freud, making a close connection between these two phenomena, highlighted “the anal-sadistic” stage of libido organization.
In hysteria ideas, repressed in the unconscious level, remain unchanged and continue to exert influence from there. The same is true for the compulsive neurosis, compulsive symptoms as a basis, too, is the Oedipus complex, but here the Oedipal complex adds a very strong anal sadistic impulse, and that occurred in the preceding period of development.
Anal-sadistic orientation of the compulsive neurotic, as a rule, is easily recognizable. Compulsive neurotics usually are clearly concerned about conflict between aggression and obedience, cruelty and kindness, sloppiness and cleanliness, order and chaos. These conflicts can manifest themselves in appearance and behavior of patients, their sex lives as they would not be disrupted.
Physiological function appears, in fact, not violated, because are isolated from the corresponding psychological content. Physiological relaxation of sexual activity of patients is not an adequate discharge of sexual tension that really expressed their beliefs about the cruelty and dirt. Sometimes the anal-sadistic orientation is found only in reactive formations like an exaggerated sense of justice, extreme cleanliness, punctuality, particularly in money matters, failure to any aggression. Mixing of jet formation and direct anal or sadistic outbursts, makes the behavior of patients controversial. They are at the same time accurate and inaccurate, tidy and untidy, kind and cruel.
The patient, that did not pass psychoanalysis, complained during his first visit of the compulsive habit of constantly looking back for fear that he did not notice something important. He was afraid to see a coin lying on the ground, stepping on an insect or an insect could be on the back and needed his help. He also was afraid to touch anything, and each time touching the object he had to make sure that does not damage it. The patient did not have a profession, since heavy compulsion violated his performance, but he had one passion – to tidy up the room. He liked to visit neighbors and clean up at their house just for fun.
Another symptom of the patient was described as a “garment consciousness”, he was constantly concerned about the suitability of his costume. The patient claimed that sexuality does not play an important role in his life, he entered into a sexual relationship only two or three times a year, exclusively for girls, which had no spiritual interest. Later, the patient referred to another symptom. As a child, he felt an aversion to the mother and was afraid to touch it. The real reason for this aversion was missing, his mother was an attractive and popular figure. This shows that the sexual life of the patient’s was different by anal-sadistic orientations, the deformation of sexuality based on incestous fear.
In the process of psychotherapy, the anal-sadistic orientation compulsive neurotic acts, of course, with much relief. According to Freud, all compulsive neurotic are characterized by “secret scatological rituals”, which are somewhat anal-erotic games, partly reactive formation against these games, part of the phenomenon both at once. V. Menninger collected the most common rituals of this kind. Patients are always on guard about the unconscious anal tendencies mixed with hostility, for example, desire “to make a dirty trick” to his colleagues.
In this way, Freud argued that instinctual compulsive neurotic organization is similar to the instinctive organization of the child on the anal-sadistic stage of development. This would seem to contradict the apparent involvement of compulsive neurotics in a protective combat of the Oedipus complex, whose peak is reached, as is commonly believed not before the phallic period. Another apparent contradiction lies in the fact that, in spite of anal sadism, many compulsions are closely linked with genital masturbation. These apparent contradictions explain the concept of regression, according to which the anal-sadistic impulses arise from the phallic impulses of the Oedipus complex.
Genital oedipal impulses are repealed with an increase in the anal-sadistic impulses. In an attempt to reject the Oedipus complex patient partially regresses to the anal-sadistic level. However, the compulsive neurotic is not coprophile. Because the anal-sadistic impulses for him, are too intolerant, or because in the regression to the anal stage disgusting Oedipus is not eliminated completely, the patient is forced to continue protecting the struggle against these impulses. Interpolation of the regression complicates compulsive neurosis, in comparison with hysteria.
Freud’s theory of compulsive neurosis as a regression to the anal-sadistic level allows us to understand many contradictory facts. So, rejected by compulsive neurosis motivation, on the one hand, consist of a phallic oedipal tendencies and genital addiction to masturbation, on the other hand, have the sadistic anal nature. Protection at first is directed against the phallic Oedipus complex and takes his anal sadism, and then continued protection against anal impulses. At times, psychoanalysis shows the actual process of regression and can prove that the emergence of compulsive neurosis after it happened.
The girl suffered from the obsessive fear that in the closet will be a snake and crawl into her anus. In the process of psychoanalysis, it became clear that this fear is the forerunner. First, appeared the fear of the snake, which supposedly could be in bed. Regression occurred as a defense against phallic anxiety. The fear has shifted from the bed to the toilet, from the genitals to the anus.
The young man still in the latent period each time felt very anxious during erection. He claimed that he was afraid to damage his penis. Gradually, he formed the habit of getting rid of an erection just by masturbating. This, however, raised new alarms. Later, having frequent urges to urinate and defecate. Then it developed an extensive compulsive neurosis. It is clear that genital impulses are continuously at first approved, despite the fear of castration, then were replaced by the pregenital impulses, and only after a regression to anal eroticism compulsive neurosis manifested.
Indirect, but experimental evidence for the role of almost anal-sadistic regression in the etiology of compulsive neurosis are rare cases in which hysteria, after leaving genitality, mix compulsive neurosis. Freud observed this process in women, forced by external circumstances to devalue its normal (genital) sex life. Something like this often occurs after menopause, when the regression provokes organic factors. The action of the regression is also proved when it is untenable for defensive purposes. In such cases, the patient can not avoid the fear of castration by the shift of interest in the anal area. Instead, he has a so-called anal castration anxiety. The patient is unable to defecate, emptying his bowels or small amorphous masses in this way is an attempt to avoid “loss of authority.”
Phenomena which Freud refers symbolic equality feces = penis, has its origin in part due to an unsuccessful regression. According to psychoanalysis, the typical fears of children and compulsive neurotics are associated with a toilet, are related to castration anxiety: the fear of falling into the toilet, to be eaten by monsters emerging from it, and to rationalize the fear of it becoming infected. These fears are a regressive distortion of the fear of castration The child, whose fears were traced to the different “terrible vision of” the disappearance of fecal matter, is afraid that his penis can disappear in the same way.
The fact that anal fears are like fears of oral, cover castration anxiety, is consistent with the autonomous nature of pregenital fears. Castration anxiety is regressively distorted by mobilizing former pregenital anxieties about the loss of feces. Often it is very difficult to determine how anal anxiety represents the remaining original pregenital anxiety, perhaps, just giving some kind of fear of castration suitable quality (pregenital experiences of weaning and separation from faeces – the archaic idea of the precursors of castration), as well as a regressive distorted castration anxiety. Clinical observations abound data closely interwoven concepts and modes of behavior of the genital and anal-sadistic level.
Some compulsive neurotics perceive sexuality only in terms of anal, if it comes down to the toilet. Others view sex as a financial issue, fantasies, such as prostitution, or estate problem. A man can be recorded in the sexual act to hold the seed to enhance the enjoyment of a preliminary or “save” the seed, but often rationalize their behavior as caring about the feelings of women. Psychoanalysis has shown that such man does with the seed what had previously done with the feces. In other cases, on the foreground is no anal, but sadistic distortion throughout their sexual lives.
For some compulsive neurotics unconsciously sexual act means a struggle, in which the winner castrates the victim. Patients-men of this type may have an interest in sexual activity just as comforting proof that they do not sacrifice (apparently complete confidence never achieved). At patients appears a desire to examine male genitalia and touch them, what expresses latent destructive tendencies.
The direct influence of regression is in two ways: combined with the strong sadistic Oedipal hostility toward the parent of the same sex, and imposes new security challenges for the ego, anal eroticism alters sexual purposes, and in this way the individual’s behavior.
Anal eroticism, as already noted, is by nature always bisexual. Anus – the active expelling body and hollow body at the same time, it is possible to stimulate these objects. Fluctuation between the original male plant, now enhanced active-sadistic component of anal eroticism, and female plant, to represent the passive component of anal eroticism, leads to the formation of the typical conflict in the unconscious compulsive neurotic male, phallic oedipal setting slowed down the notion that satisfaction means the loss of the penis. Regression helps women set, but not completely eliminate the original male plant.
Modern education, emphasizing obedience and independence at the same time, increases in compulsive neurotic conflict between the active-passive, masculine and feminine tendencies. The conflict takes many forms. Excessive activity may represent a reaction formation against deep passivity and vice versa. In many cases, the actual passivity is rationalized as an activity. The identified love of the boy to his father is a normal trade-off of this kind. Temporarily staying in a feminine position to his father, the boy gets the promise of the future communion to manhood. This is the “psychology of the student”, passive to the host, so that later to become a master is confirmed by several pathological distortions.
The purpose of feminine desires of compulsive neurotic male, of course, is to undergo castration, rather they want to get some kind of attachment to the body or to keep something in the body. The idea that such a wish, too, can not reliably protect against the emasculation and castration may even be a prerequisite to meet him, causing the most worrisome alarm, which, in turn, provides motivation for further protection.
Such was the condition of “man-wolf”, pushing from his castration anxiety his inverted Oedipus complex. Fear of being eaten by a wolf expressed feminine desire in relation to his father and related to it castration anxiety. In this way, sexual pleasure can be so cemented with terrible ideas of castration, which eventually becomes a phenomenon unthinkable without the other.
Often the patient behaves as if unconsciously seeking castration, but in fact it tends to somehow remove the alarm, braking pleasure. What actually happens, is just the search of symbolic castration as the lesser evil, which the patient is ready to suffer in order to avoid the real castration, he was actively anticipating that otherwise would have had to endure passively. Often, after the patient’s activity, symbolizing castration, he performs a ritual on its symbolic void.
Ambivalence – a characteristic feature of increased anal eroticism, as well as bisexuality. Expressed ambivalence of object relations is typical to pregenital stages of development of the libido, it resumed in violation of genital organization. As far as anal fixation is a prerequisite for anal regression, so is associated with the fixation of bisexuality and ambivalence can be seen as a prerequisite for regression.
By the time of intensification of the regression increases anal-sadistic orientation and, accordingly its attributes, because of this bisexuality and ambivalence are at once a consequence of regression. In the conversion hysteria with intestinal symptoms anal regression is limited by the choice of painful body used for the expression of genital fantasies.
In another way it happens in compulsive neurosis. Here is a complete response to the world of anal-erotic desires and attitudes, behavior changes in general. To the compulsive neurotic often return even characteristic to kids anal erotic peculiarities of olfaction, which are los by normal adults. Usually, by regression to a greater or lesser extent in the forefront there are narcissistic traits, increased bisexuality creates fertile ground for fantasies of the sexual act with himself. There is an intermediate state between compulsive neurosis and psychosis manic-depressive and schizophrenic type.