SUICIDE: A PATIENT’S WISH TO KILL OFF “BAD” INTROJECTS AND THUS ACHIEVE REBIRTH*

Abstract

Benedict came for treatment because he experienced severe self-deprecating feelings that tortured him. He felt commanded—by what he characterized as internal demons—to kill himself. When he did not do so, he felt humiliated for having been a coward. Simultaneously, he reckoned that if he died his demons would be killed off, but that he would arise brand new. Because Benedict had already “killed off” several earlier therapists, he needed someone who could feel his pain, but would neither die from his emotional storms, nor give up on him. With considerable mutual work, he began to identify with my dogged determination to both survive his fierce attacks and to locate the source of the introjected demons that viciously attacked him (and others). When his emotionally-driven storms finally ebbed, he combined forces with me and began the ordeal of overcoming his fears and relinquishing his delusional system.

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Correspondence to Burton Norman Seitler.

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Address Correspondence to: Burton Norman Seitler, Ph.D., 10 Garber Square, Suite 5, Ridgewood, NJ 07450, USA

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Seitler, B.N. SUICIDE: A PATIENT’S WISH TO KILL OFF “BAD” INTROJECTS AND THUS ACHIEVE REBIRTH*. Am J Psychoanal 78, 370–383 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1057/s11231-018-9159-0

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Keywords

  • suicide
  • introjects
  • rebirth
  • countertransference
  • ego alienation
  • unwanted child