Freud and Disability


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Abstract

ABSTRACT.The purpose of this article is to provide an analysis of Freud's writings and theories as related to persons with physical disabilities. The Concordance to the Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, the indices to The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud (edited and translated by James Strachey, 1953-1974), and the Psychological Abstracts were reviewed to identify references to disability by Freud and pertinent supportive literature. It was concluded that although Freud wrote very little about disability per se, many of his ideas can be applied directly to understanding attitudes toward disability and adjustment to disability processes. The relevance of concepts such as castration anxiety, fear of loss of love, ego strength, secondary gain, and the death instinct are specifically discussed.

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