Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

La fixation anale dans la paranoïa. Un cas clinique exemplaire et ses prolongements théoriques

Abstract : Objective: The very existence of paranoid delusions as distinct from schizophrenic disorders has been widely discussed in recent years. Taking into account these controversies, this paper presents the distinctive features of the anal dimension in paranoid delusion (persecution delusion). The authors aim to show the value of Karl Abraham's theoretical contribution in the form of a criterion which, he claimed, enabled a differential diagnose between paranoia and schizophrenia. The study of Abraham's texts also reveals a criterion enabling a differentiation between manic-depressive psychosis (bipolarity) and paranoia. This paper sets out to test the validity of Abraham's hypothesis by analysing Rorschach protocols of his psychotic patients. Methodology: A close reading of several theoretical texts written by Freud and his first followers shows how important they considered the anal dimension in paranoia to be. In what is still considered as his most important text on paranoid psychosis, the Schreber case, Freud shows that the theme of a passive position in sexual intercourse (equivalent to anal penetration) was central to Schreber's view of delusion. Besides Karl Abraham, three of Freud's first supporters, namely Eduard Hitschmann, Johan van Ophuijsen and August Stärke, proposed a detailed description of the anal dimension in some of their paranoid patients. They suggested that, in persecution delusion, an equivalence exists between the paranoid subject's persecutor and the anal object. The authors focus on an exemplary clinical case so as to better understand the scope, the place and the function of anal factors within a paranoid person's psychical functioning. For the patient described, the importance of the idea of a “homosexual rape” is underlined. The subject's whole delusion revolves around it. It is central to his delusional ideas, where the anal dimensions are further illustrated by the results of projective tests. The Rorschach protocols are closely examined so as to discover how they reflect the anal dimension within this paranoid patient's mind. We also note the need to avoid confusion between the purportedly homosexual ideas of psychotic patients (which, in fact, mostly boil down to homoeroticism) and homosexual orientation properly speaking (which cannot be considered as a disorder). While psychotic homoeroticism stems from a fixation at the anal, pre-œdipal stage, homosexuality constitutes a post-œdipal, genital sexual orientation in its own right. Whereas homosexuality is directed towards an external, self-sufficient object, homoeroticism is directed towards a narcissistic image that remains halfway between the subject and the other. The anal dimension of homoeroticism mostly shows in paranoid patients; it is not an attribute of homosexuality proper. Results: The results show that anal fixation is a major indicator for paranoia. This criterion makes it possible to distinguish it from manic-depressive disorder (bipolarity) and from schizophrenia. In manic-depressive disorder, says Karl Abraham, the patient has fully introjected his love-object, whereas in paranoia, the love-object has been incompletely introjected, which creates a strong ambivalence that is reflected by the patient's behaviour. In contrast, in schizophrenia, the love-object has not been constituted as distinct from the patient; the patient remains at a pre-ambivalent stage. Whereas the paranoid patient tries to get rid of the (incompletely introjected) object, the schizophrenic patient feels under threat of being devoured by the love-object. In paranoid patient's Rorschach protocols, the ambivalence towards the object and its anal dimension shows through references to “dirty” animals or objects (“a petrol pit”, “a hog”, “a rat”). These patients harp on the “backside” or the “bottom” of the body. Finally, the male sex is described as aggressive, dangerous, and likened to “a knife”. In schizophrenia, in contrast, Rorschach protocols reflect fears of being devoured, with the mention of “jaws”, “crocodiles” and other such items. Discussion: This study encourages future quantitative research on the topic of differential indicators for paranoia and schizophrenia. It tends to prove that paranoid delusions cannot be fully assimilated to schizophrenic disorders. Karl Abraham's differential criteria, based on clinical evidence, could be usefully confronted to Rorschach protocols in greater depth. Conclusion: The anal dimension constitutes a valid criterion making it possible to distinguish paranoid disorders from schizophrenia, and also from manic-depressive psychosis (bipolarity). This dimension can be clearly brought to light by analysing psychotic patient's Rorschach protocols.
Complete list of metadata

Cited literature [3 references]  Display  Hide  Download

https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-02137012
Contributor : Renaud Evrard <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 3:40:41 PM
Last modification on : Friday, December 13, 2019 - 10:08:03 AM

Files

Lévy Prudent et al - 2017 - ...
Files produced by the author(s)

Identifiers

Citation

Benjamin Levy, Cécile Prudent, Renaud Evrard, Christophe Clesse, Michel Decker, et al.. La fixation anale dans la paranoïa. Un cas clinique exemplaire et ses prolongements théoriques. L'Évolution Psychiatrique, Elsevier, 2018, 83 (2), pp.287-303. ⟨10.1016/j.evopsy.2017.06.002⟩. ⟨halshs-02137012⟩

Share

Metrics

Record views

180

Files downloads

1158