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(1966). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XLV, 1964: A Further Contribution to the Psychoanalytic Study of Migraine and Psychogenic Headaches. The Relation of Migrane to Depression, States of Withdrawal, Petit Mal, and Epilepsy. Melitta Sperling. Pp. 549-557.. Psychoanal Q., 35:622.

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Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XLV, 1964: A Further Contribution to the Psychoanalytic Study of Migraine and Psychogenic Headaches. The Relation of Migrane to Depression, States of Withdrawal, Petit Mal, and Epilepsy. Melitta Sperling. Pp. 549-557.

(1966). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 35:622

International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XLV, 1964: A Further Contribution to the Psychoanalytic Study of Migraine and Psychogenic Headaches. The Relation of Migrane to Depression, States of Withdrawal, Petit Mal, and Epilepsy. Melitta Sperling. Pp. 549-557.

Psychogenic headache is a phallic-level symptom, while migraine is a pregenital conversion symptom and can be cured if oral and anal conflicts are exposed and worked through. Twenty-three of Sperling's cases remained symptom-free thirteen to sixteen years following analysis. In the psychosomatic patient there is increased object cathexis with threatened object loss, and symbolic destruction of the object through the symptom. In depression there is withdrawal from, and introjection of, the external object: struggle continues with the internalized object within the ego and superego. In petit mal there is instant cutting off from functioning of those parts of the mind which serve perception and execution of certain stimuli from within and without. In epilepsy there is complete lapse into unconsciousness and discharge of the impulses through convulsions. In migraine, consciousness remains but acute repression of dangerous impulses occurs, with partial discharge and gratification in the headaches. The interrelation of migraine, petit mal, and epilepsy is not from common inherited constitution but from early, acquired attitudes toward overwhelmingly strong destructive impulses.


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Article Citation

(1966). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XLV, 1964. Psychoanal. Q., 35:622

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WARNING! This text is printed for the personal use of the subscriber to PEP Web and is copyright to the Journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to copy, distribute or circulate it in any form whatsoever.