Obsessional Neurosis

The Problem of Sadism
  • Helen Block Lewis
Part of the Emotions, Personality, and Psychotherapy book series (EPPS, volume 1)


In his introduction to the case account of the Rat-Man, Freud (1909b) observed that an obsessional neurosis was much less easy to understand than a case of hysteria. He found it puzzling that this should be so, since “the language of the obsessional neurosis — the means by which it expresses its secret thoughts — is… only a dialect of the language of hysteria. It is moreover, a dialect in which we ought to find our way about more easily than in hysteria, since it is more nearly related to the forms of expression adopted by our conscious thought than is the language of hysteria. Above all, it does not involve the leap from a mental process to a somatic innervation — hysterical conversion — which can never be fully comprehensible to us” (p. 156).


Sexual Arousal Sexual Fantasy Obsessional Symptom Death Instinct Obsessional Neurosis 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helen Block Lewis
    • 1
  1. 1.Yale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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