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Research Article

Psychodynamic Factors in Neurasthenia or Neurasthenic Neurosis A Survey of the Literature

Authors:

Serge Verhaest ,

University Psychiatric Centre “St. Jozef” Leuvensesteenweg 517 3070 Kortenberg, BE
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Roland Pierloot

University Psychiatric Centre “St. Jozef” Leuvensesteenweg 517 3070 Kortenberg, BE
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Abstract

A Survey of the literature about the role of psychodynamic factors in the development of neurasthenia is presented. Freud denied the role of psychic factors in the elaboration of the neurasthenic symptoms. Subsequently, authors as Reich and Schilder tended to describe neurasthenia much more as a pregenital psychoneurosis, while others conceptualized neurasthenia in the same way as psychosomatic diseases. Today, neurasthenia is mostly considered as a neurosis with strong narcissistic roots. It seems more regressive than classical psychoneuroses, but less than psychosomatoses or psychoses, and it is related to depressive and anxiety neuroses. Some empirical personality studies confirm these theoretical concepts. The views of the described authors are then summarized with regard to the specific diagnostic position, developmental level, typical symptom formation, character structure, psychodynamic conflicts and defence mechanisms in neurasthenia.

How to Cite: Verhaest, S. and Pierloot, R., 1981. Psychodynamic Factors in Neurasthenia or Neurasthenic Neurosis A Survey of the Literature. Psychologica Belgica, 21(2), pp.181–194. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/pb.682
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Published on 01 Jan 1981.
Peer Reviewed

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