The Role of Childhood and Adult Stress in the Genesis of the Decathected Unconscious

  • Benjamin Kissin
Part of the Psychobiology of Human Behavior book series (PSPS, volume 1)


Much time and space have been given in this volume to a description of the dynamics, the mechanisms, and especially the neurophysiology of the “decathected unconscious,” but paradoxically very little experimental data have been presented to describe in any detail the substantive content of that entity. The reason for this omission has been the direction of our interest, which until now has been concerned mainly with the definition of physiological mechanisms. Theoretically, the activities of the decathected unconscious, because of the influences of powerful defensive mechanisms, should be most likely to produce some variety of neurotic behavior. But this is only partially true since defensive measures often successfully decathect threatening material. In order to provide more substantial experimental and clinical data on the operation of the decathected unconscious in normals, we will emphasize in this chapter the normal use of defense mechanisms in the decathected unconscious. Only in the later chapters of the book will we extrapolate to more neurotic behavior.


Childhood Experience Psychoanalytic Theory Infant Monkey Oedipal Complex Anxiety Neurosis 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin Kissin
    • 1
  1. 1.Health Science CenterState University of New YorkBrooklynUSA

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