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Kleptomania, a Case Discussion

Kleptomania, a Case Discussion

In 2007 a middle age woman came to see me.  She told me that she was feeling very tense, never could relax, she said she never felt happy.  She was feeling as if her head was exploding.  The bright point of her life was her young daughter.  She was well educated, nice and kind and compassionate towards her.  She was proud of her daughter and said that she was very supportive and appreciative of her.

She was an immigrant and came to the United States at age 18 years old.  Among other things she told me she said when she arrived to the United States, she was greeted by her brother and was living with her brother and brother’s wife.  She did not feel welcomed there by her sister in-law.  Her sister in-law was unhappy by her presence at their home and by different ways implied that she wished her to leave.  Under that circumstance she was introduced to a man by a relative.  She said that by the coaxing and encouragement of her relatives and pressure by different family members in spite of her reluctance and doubts she married him. Her marriage was significantly influenced by her desire to leave her brother’s home as soon as she could.  She described her marriage as an unhappy one and stated that her husband was unpredictable and was demanding, harsh, rude and insulting toward her and toward her parents and relatives.  She was feeling sad and angry with him and guilty because she could not make her parents happy as she wished to.  She felt helpless, alone and could not invite them to their home and make them proud of her.  She said she stayed in this marriage for the sake of her daughter.  She said that in front of her relatives and friends she often had to find excuses to justify her husband’s behavior.  Later on husband had a nervous breakdown and was unable to work.  This was another burden for her.  She now not only was trying to find an excuse to justify her husband’s behavior but also had to try to make up stories to pretend as if her husband was working to avoid relatives gossip.  She did not want to subject herself to the gossip of family and friends.  She herself, however, continued her school and progressed and found a job and eventually became an office manager and was earning a good salary.  She was supporting the home both financially and in other aspects of house affairs.

After giving this information to me, she then with some hesitation and trepidation said that she in order to relieve her tension and anxiety, leaves her home and goes shopping.  She said shopping gave her some relief.  Later in the session I found out that she had episodes of shoplifting as well and she felt deeply embarrassed and ashamed of this behavior.  She said that she picks up things that she often does not need.  Later on I found out that because of these habits she also had been arrested several times.  She was ordered by the Court to seek psychological treatment.  She also had attended certain classes and programs, recommended by the Court for this behavior.  She said that she was given fines and ordered to perform community service as punishment in lieu of detention and was ordered psychiatric treatment in the past for which she sought treatment and received suggestions and medications.  She had followed all these therapeutic suggestions but now she was again in trouble. I found out that now she again was under prosecution for shop lifting for the fourth time.  She was dreading the prospect of imprisonment but the possibility of imprisonment was high because of previous similar offenses.  She was a respectful woman, an office manager with a responsible job supervising many financial transactions and was respected in her community and in her church.  When she saw me in the first session, she already had an attorney.  In subsequent sessions I learned that she changed her attorney and eventually found an attorney and later on found another attorney and she was hoping that with consultation and retaining two attorneys she would have better chances to avoid imprisonment.  She was referred by the attorneys to see a psychologist who was familiar with court proceedings and necessary reports in such matters.  She paid a heavy price to her lawyers and psychologist for reports.

Her mental status examination during the initial visit was unremarkable for any thought disorder.  She was a middle aged woman properly and neatly dressed, age appropriately groomed and initially came across friendly and pleasant.  As the interview progressed she started to show some anxiety and had episodes of crying spells.  She wanted to know why in spite of her awareness of wrongness of stealing and legal consequences of it she was still unable to resist her impulse and had to face the embarrassment and dangers of such a behavior.

Before discussing the treatment and outcome of it in this particular patient, let us review some of the contemporary definitions, concepts and descriptions of this condition, which is called kleptomania.

Kleptomania in the diagnostic and statistical manual of psychiatry DSM IV is defined under the category of impulse control disorder.  Under the diagnostic features, the DSM IV defines kleptomania as follows:

“The essential feature of kleptomania is the recurrent failure to resist impulses to steal items even though the items are not needed for personal use or for the monitory value.  The individual experiences rising subjective sense of tension before the act and feels pleasure gratification or relief in committing the act.  The stealing is not committed to express anger or vengeance, is not done in response to a delusion or hallucination and is not better accounted for by conduct disorder, manic episode, or antisocial personality disorder.  The objects are stolen despite the fact that they are typically of little value to the individual who could have afforded to pay for them and often gives them away or discards them.  Occasionally the individual may hold the stolen objects or surreptitiously return them.  Although individuals with this disorder will generally avoid stealing when immediate arrest is probable, they usually do not preplan the act or fully take into account the chance of apprehension.  The stealing is done without assistance from or collaboration with others.  The individuals with kleptomania experience the impulse to steal as egodystonic and are aware that the act is wrong and senseless.  The person frequently fears apprehension and often feels depressed or guilty about the theft.  The disorder may cause legal, family, career and personal difficulties.  The kleptomania appears to be much more common in females.”

In the psychiatric text book 8th edition of Kaplan and Sandok, kleptomania is defined and described as; “The essential feature of kleptomania is a recurrent failure to resist impulses to steal objects not needed for personal use or for monitory value.  The objects taken are often given away and returned surreptitiously or kept hidden.  People with kleptomania usually have the money to pay for the objects they impulsively steal.  Like other impulse control disorders, kleptomania is characterized by mounting tension before the act, followed by gratification and easing of tension with or without guilt, remorse, or depression during the act.  The stealing is not planned and does not involve others.  Although the thefts do not occur when immediate arrest is probable, people with kleptomania do not always consider their chances of being apprehended, even though repeated arrest leads to pain and humiliation.  Those people may feel guilt and anxiety after the theft, but they do not feel anger or vengeance.  Furthermore, when the object stolen is the goal, the diagnosis is not kleptomania, in kleptomania the act of stealing is itself the goal.”

In psychiatry text books, the etiology of kleptomania, like many other psychiatric illnesses is described in a vague manner.  In the textbook of psychiatry it states:  “The symptoms of kleptomania tends to appear in times of significant stress, for example losses, separation and ending of important relationships.  Some psychoanalytic writers have stressed the expression of aggressive impulses in kleptomania, others have discerned libidinal aspects.  Those who focus on symbolism see meaning in the act itself, the objects stolen and the victim of the theft.  Kleptomania is often associated with other disturbances, such as mood disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and eating disorder.  It is frequently associated with bulimia nervosa, in some reports nearly 1/4 of patients with bulimia nervosa met the diagnostic criteria of kleptomania.”  Under the biological factors, the book states that brain disease and mental retardation have been associated with kleptomania, as they have with other disorders of impulse control.  Focal neurological aspects, cortical atrophy and enlarged lateral vesicles have been found in some patients.  Disturbances in monamine metabolism, particularly of seratonin have been postulated.

As one can see there is no meaningful description of the etiology of this illness in the textbooks of psychiatry and this is not only specific for kleptomania but many other psychiatric disorders.  This disorder is attributed to a wide variety of postulations.  However, this is not the case in Orgonomy and Reichian approach – We will discuss theories and treatment approach in Orgonomy later – for now I will return to describing the client who was suffering from kleptomania and inconsistencies in contemporary psychiatric theories.

The description of kleptomania in the DSM IV, as well as its description in psychiatric text books as the reader may recognize is vague.  In the DSM IV as well as in text books of psychiatry kleptomania is described as a recurrent failure to resist the impulse to steal items, even though the items are not needed for personal use or for monetary value.  The text book definition and description of it is also similar.  However, neither DSM IV nor psychiatric text books describe the origin of the impulse.  The text books and DSM IV descriptions do not say where and why this impulse appears in a person.  Science and scientific thinking dictates that every impulse must have an origin and must have energy attached to it.  Neither of these characteristics of an impulse has been dealt with in contemporary medicine, psychiatry or psychology.  The impulse is vaguely defined without description of its characteristics, qualities and its origin.  This shortcoming is not limited to the description of impulses in kleptomania, but it exists in all other psychiatric illnesses as well. Medicine, psychiatry and psychology have avoided dealing with energetic aspects of such impulses and source of its emergence.  From our point of view that is the reason why the pathologic process, the development of these illnesses are poorly understood and treatment of psychiatric illnesses has been hindered.  A recent article in the March 1st issue of New Yorker Magazine titled, “Head Case” by Lewis Menand pointed to disappointing results in psychiatric treatments, is an example of this hinderance.  A similar article titled, “The Assault on Freud” was also published in Time magazine November 29th, 1993 regarding disappointing results in psychoanalysis.  On the contrary, Orgonomy deals head on with the matters of impulse and energy.  Orgonomy considers these impulses, i.e.: impulse to steal as a secondary impulse or drive, the distortions of primary healthy impulses which is distorted because of armoring of the organism.  The theory which has been developed in Orgonomy is based on the experimental work of Dr. Reich and also based on clinical observations and treatment trials, which proves itself applicable in clinical work.  Our theoretical approach to these impulses is that the impulses originate from the core of the organism, which we regard to be autonomic ganglions in the center of the organism and propagates toward the periphery in a pulsetory manner.  As a consequence of persistent outer and environmental inhibitions against expression of natural primary impulses, sexual and aggressive impulses, mechanism of armoring sets in, which permanently prevents expressions of anger, rage, and sexual emotions.  The original healthy impulses then split and get distorted and manifest themselves with different neurotic and anti-social manifestations.  Schematically in Orgonomy this process is explained as the following schema (courtesy of the Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust):

Our treatment approach is based on these schemas.  Ideally the clinician who is conducting the treatment, will need to acquire the knowledge experience and skills of psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapy as well as psychiatric orgone therapy. In restoring the orderly flow of the energy in the organism, to loosening up and removing the armoring and establishing the organismic capacity to express primary and undistorted drives, the clinician finds himself working as an electrical engineer restoring the proper energy flow in the human organism.  The ideal psychiatric orgone therapy treatment is considered complete when the armoring is resolved and orderly flow of energy is restored in the body.  In such a case patients become capable of expressing primary unadulterated and undistorted impulses as he or she wishes to.  Parallel with it, the patient develops sexual potency, potency to love and have genital embrace, be affectionate and in the final stages of treatment develop full orgastic potency.  The patients who achieve such a level of health as Dr. Reich has described, attains qualities of Jesus Christ, incapable of lying and incapable of harming.

However, achieving such a level of health is not always possible.  In fact psychiatrists and clinicians conducting psychiatric orgone therapy rarely are able to resolve the armor of a patient which is heavily ingrained throughout their lives to achieve full orgastic potency.  We often have to content ourselves with resolution of armor to a certain extent.  By some resolution of armoring, the patient senses relief and some normality is brought to their lives.

The treatment of this patient started and progressed based on principles of psychiatric orgone therapy, with recognition that stealing impulse was a distortion of patient’s ability to express her primary impulse of anger, rage and sexual drives.  The treatment of this patient lasted one year with an average of one session every week.  In this vignette I do not intend to explain step by step the treatment process, which has been described in this journal by Dr. Reich with annotation and in other Orgonomy literature by Dr. Reich as well as by Dr. Herskowitz.  I only will mention some cardinal points and developments that happened during this treatment process.

I began the treatment of this patient from the most superficial and conspicuous feature of the patient, her facial expression as is customary in psychiatric orgone therapy.  Her excessive politeness and apologetic and pleasant appearance was the surface manifestation.  This was a feature that had been with her since childhood, she all her life was trying to please others, trying to avoid any confrontation, but at the same time this apologetic and agreeable mask was the mask that was hiding her anger, rage and sadness.  As treatment progressed the patient recognized this attitude, events in her life that caused this attitude were expressed by the patient.  She recognized her fear of expressing anger, which started from the relation with her own parents and later on with her brother’s wife and then with her husband.  She gained insight on her inability to express anger.  By the techniques specific to psychiatric orgone therapy her excessive pleasantness, politeness and appeasing attitude was uncovered from her facial expression.  She became able to express her anger and frustration toward different people including her husband that she all along was fearful of.  Attaining this ability and insight surprisingly translated itself to actions in her life and at her home.  She became capable of speaking up against her husband, she even threatened her husband to throw him out and divorce him and to her own surprise, the husband complied and suddenly changed his attitude.  She gained power that she all along longed for.  She also dared to talk about the oppressive environment that she grew up in since her teenage years.  By her ability to express her anger and speaking up against her husband a significant change happened in her life.  She became more relaxed and more expressive.  During this time with the help of her attorneys she completed her legal obligations properly and became free of legal threats.  She also lost the impulse to steal or commit other transgressions, such as frequent traffic violations that she used to do.  Several months later she was invited by her relatives to return to her country of origin.  She accepted the invitation and went to visit her relative.  For a while she kept contact with me and as of the last I knew about her, her condition was stable and she did not have impulses to steal.  She, while in treatment, told me with horror that she was assigned to attend programs and saw many people who were attendees of those programs for numerous times without improvement, becoming revolving doors in institutions.

This is one example of thousands, who suffer from such illnesses but because of a poor understanding of the illness by present day psychiatry and psychology, they remain poorly treated, constantly struggling with their impulse, which continues to seek reappearance and ruins their potential to live, work and love.  Dr. Herskowitz, in a speech he gave in commemoration of the 50th year of Dr. Wilhelm Reich’s death in Rangely Maine said: “I lived long enough to know that life is too short to be wasted with sickness.”

As described earlier we consider the psychiatric orgone therapy complete when armoring is widely resolved and the patient develops orgastic potency.  In the case, which was described, although some resolution of armoring took place, but because of the patient’s departure to her country of origin and interruption of the treatment process , armoring was not adequately resolved.  In such cases there is always the danger of reemergence of unhealthy and pathologic impulses as a consequence of redevelopment of the armor.  Therefore, we cannot in confidence claim a successful completion of treatment in this case.  Nevertheless, considering the educational value and theoretical discussion of it, its presentation was judged to be worthy.

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Introduction to the Theory of Orgone Therapy

Introduction to the Theory of Orgone Therapy

      Earlier this year, I was asked to provide a lecture about the theory of orgone therapy. Because of the importance of this topic, however, I decided to create this presentation.

In his book Character Analysis, Dr. Wilheim Reich, the founder of orgonomy, stated that orgone therapy:

. . . comprises all medical and pedagogical techniques which make use of biological energy, the orgone. The cosmic orgone energy, from which the concept of “orgone therapy” drives, was not discovered until 1939. Yet, long before this discovery, the goal of character analysis was conceived as the liberation of “psychic energy” as it was called at that time, from the character armor and muscular armor and establishment of orgastic potency. (1)

Wilhelm Reich

Based on Reich’s definition, the principal entity for orgone therapy is biological energy, the “orgone.” Therefore, the first step in describing orgone therapy is to become acquainted with its concept and natural function in the body. It is important to understand the source from which this energy originates, to which it returns, and how it propagates in the body.

Sigmund Freud

The knowledge of orgonomy has grown out of the body of knowledge of psychoanalysis founded by Sigmund Freud.

      Freud realized that in order to explain certain psychological phenomena, one must first assume the existence of psychosexual energy. He referred to this hypothetical energy as “libido energy,” which he considered the driving force behind instincts and all human actions. Freud’s students, however, perhaps because of social and cultural pressures, spoke less frequently about, and ultimately abandoned, the notion of libido theory. Instead, they elaborated endlessly on other theories of Freud, such as his theory of the Id, Ego, and Superego or his topographic theory of the conscious and unconscious. Reich, however, realized the central importance of libido theory, from which he developed his theory of orgonomy. Reich says:

Basically, Freud discovered the principal of energy functioning of psychic apparatus. The energy functioning principal. This was what distinguished him from all other psychologists. Not so much the discovery of unconscious. The unconscious, the theory of unconscious, was to my mind, a consequence of a principal he introduced into psychology. That was the principal, the natural scientific principal, of energy the “libido theory” you know that very little is left of it today. (2)

Reich in the book “Cancer Biopathy” says:

…the spurting of every plant, the development of every embryo, the spontaneous movement of muscles, and productivity of every biological organism demonstrate the existence of incalculable energies governing the work of living substance. Energy is the capacity to work. (3)

This was prelude to establish that foundation of orgone therapy is the use of biological energy “orgone”.

      
However, in order to discuss the theory of orgone therapy, one must follow the pedagogical approach customary in medical schools when teaching treatment approaches to medical students. Prior to learning these treatment approaches, students must first be educated about the anatomy and physiology of the healthy body. Thereafter, these students are instructed in illnesses, referred to as pathology. It is only then that students are instructed about the treatment of these illnesses. During this time, students are then educated about prevention of the illnesses to protect people from becoming sick in first place.

      
To introduce the theory of orgone therapy, this same method is used: To understand orgone therapy, we must first learn about the normal functioning of the organism from an orgonomic point of view. Then we must learn about the distortions that occur which hinder normal functioning and eventually cause illness. Next, we learn how to treat this illness and ultimately learn how to prevent it in first place.

Normal Orgonomic Functioning

      In describing the normal orgonomic functioning of the human organism, we must examine orgonomic functioning in primitive organisms with whom we share basic functional principles. The basic function of life in the most primitive organisms is the rhythmic alternation of contraction and expansion, in other words, pulsation. Pulsation is nothing but the rhythmic propagation of energy. Reich stated:

The animal body at the very lowest stage of development possesses an apparatus that generates electricity from the center. These are the so-called vegetative ganglia, a conglomeration of nerve cells which, arranged at regular intervals and connected with all organs and their parts by means of very fine strands, govern the involuntary life functions. They are the organs of vegetative feelings and sensations. They constitute a coherent unity, a so- called “syncytium” which is divided into two antithetical functioning group: sympathetic and parasympathetic. (4)

      This structure and function persist in developed stages. The autonomic nervous system, also referred to as the vegetative nervous system, is well-known in medical physiology and neurology. Also well-known are the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems and their functions of inducing contraction and expansion as well as their regular and rhythmic impulses. Feelings of pleasure are associated with the parasympathetic function of expansion while non-pleasure and anxiety are associated with the sympathetic function of contraction. These basic physiological facts are recognized in medicine and medical physiology and are basic concepts on which the orgonomic theory of health and sickness is based. The capacity of the human organism to expand and contract fully without inhibition and to regulate the pulsating energy by the proper discharge of surplus energy by orgastic convulsions is the foundation upon which the concepts of health and sickness are determined in orgonomy.

Reich stated:

As we have already pointed out, all biological impulses and organ sensations can be reduced to expansion (elongation, dilatation), and contraction (shrinking, constriction). How are these two basic functions related to the autonomic nervous system? Investigation of the very complicated vegetative innervations of the organs show that the parasympathetic (Vagus) always functions where there is expansion, dilation, hyperemia, turgor, and pleasure. Conversely, the sympathetic nerves function whenever the organism contracts, blood is withdrawn from the periphery, and pallor, anxiety, and pain appear. If we go one step further, we grasp that the parasympathetic nervous system operates in the direction of expansion, “out of self toward the world,” pleasure and joy; whereas the sympathetic nervous system operates in the direction of contraction, “away from the world– into the self,” resulting in sadness and displeasure. The life process consists of continuous alternations between expansion and contraction. On the highest psychic level, biological expansion is experienced as pleasure; contraction is experienced as displeasure. In the realm of instinctual phenomena, expansion functions as sexual excitation, and contraction functions as anxiety.” (5)

In addition, there should be centers where this biological energy originates and returns. In orgonomy, the centers that produce this pulsatory energy are identified as “vegetative ganglions.” Reich stated:

In the abdominal region the so-called seat of the emotions, we find the generators of biophysical energy. They are the large centers of the autonomic nervous system, essentially the solar plexus, hypogastric plexus, and lumbosacral plexus. (6)

           Figure 1: The diagram depicting the function of vegetative centers (7)

      In orgonomy, we also recognize the functional existence of the segmental structure, conspicuous in lower animals like worm. The wavy movement of the worm from head to tail maintains the direction of orgonomic movement in the human organism as well. In a healthy body, the orgone energy flows unimpeded from inner ganglions toward the outside, undulating from the head to pelvis. The surplus energy is fully discharged by orgastic convulsions like all other living organisms. In such a normal and natural orgonomic state, the organism will be physically and psychologically healthy. This discharge of surplus energy regulates the energy of the organism. Human beings share the orgastic function with all other living organisms including protozoa to regulate energy and maintain equilibrium. Therefore, the orgastic function is common among all living organisms, and anyone who studies the function of living organisms has no choice but to acknowledge the essential importance of this function including its fundamental importance in the human organism. The division of cells is based on orgastic principles which reflect the essentiality of this function in all living organisms. This is why Reich has written detailed explanations and stressed the significance of this function. The followings are quotations from Reich in relation to significance of orgastic potency in the health of the human organism:

The theory of sex economy and its investigation of living phenomena can be stated in a few sentences.

Psychic health depends upon orgastic potency, i.e., upon the degree to which one can surrender to and experience the climax of excitation in the natural sexual act. It is founded upon the healthy character attitude of individuals capacity for love. Psychic illnesses are the result of a disturbance of the natural ability to love. Psychic illnesses are the results of disturbance of natural ability to love. In the case of the orgastic impotence, from which the overwhelming majority of people suffer, the damming up of biological energy occurs and becomes the source of irrational actions. The essential requirement to cure psychic disturbances is the reestablishment of the natural capacity for love. It is dependent upon social as well as psychic conditions. (8)

Reich also states:

Orgastic impotence has always been in the forefront of sex economic research, and all of its details are still not known. Its role in sex economy is similar to the role of the Oedipus complex in psychoanalysis. Whoever does not have a precise understanding of it cannot be considered a sex economist. He will never really grasp its ramifications. He will not understand the difference between health and sickness, nor will he comprehend human pleasure, anxiety, or the pathological nature of the parent-child conflict and the misery of marriage. . . . He will never understand the identity between sexual process and life process. Nor will he be able to grasp the sex economic theory of cancer. He will mistake sickness for health and health for sickness. He will end up misinterpreting man’s fear of happiness. In short, he might be anything, but he will never be a sex economist, who knows that man is the sole biological species that has destroyed its own natural sexual function and is sick as a consequence of this. (p. 9)

The theory of orgasm is based on the four-beat formula:

Tension-charge-discharge-relaxation.

In summary, from the orgonomic perspective, a human being’s health depends on adequate production of pulsatory orgone energy from the vegetative ganglions seated inside the human, emitting undulating energy from the head to the pelvis, unimpeded, and regulating the surplus energy through healthy orgastic convulsions. From an orgonomic point of view, a person with such functioning is considered healthy. Such a person will psychologically manifest only good qualities in accordance to the laws of nature. Such a person will not be prone to biopathies and, as Dr. Reich has described, will have Christ-like qualities. He will be unable to lie, will have compassion toward others, be incapable of sadistic acts, will have rational thinking, be receptive to discussions, and shun destructive social activities. His goals and motives will be socially oriented and he will strive to improve his own condition as well as the conditions and lives of others. Physically, such a person will have strong, fluid, integrated, and coordinated body functions with healthy tissues and high immunity to illnesses.

After his patients were treated successfully and achieved orgastic potency, Reich described them as follows:

With the ability to experience complete genital surrender, the patient’s personality underwent such a thorough and rapid change that, initially, I was baffled by it. I did not understand how the tenacious neurotic process could give away so rapidly. It was not only that neurotic anxiety symptoms disappeared—the patient’s entire personality changed. I was at loss to explain this theoretically. I interpreted the disappearance of symptoms as withdrawal of the sexual energy which had previously nourished them. But the character change itself eluded clinical understanding. The genital character appeared to function according to different hitherto unknown laws. I want to cite a few examples by way of illustration.
Quite spontaneously, the patients began to experience a moralistic attitude of the world around them as something alien and peculiar. No matter how tenaciously they might have defended pre-marital chastity beforehand, they now experienced this demand as grotesque. Such demands no longer had any relevance for them; they became indifferent to them. Their attitude toward their work changed. If they had previously worked mechanically, had not demonstrated any real interest, and had considered their work a necessary evil which one takes upon oneself without giving it much thought, they now became discriminating. . . . The change in the sexual sphere was just as pronounced. Patients who had felt no qualms in going to prostitutes became incapable of going to them once they were orgastically potent. Wives who had patiently endured living with unloving husbands and had sexually submitted to them out of “marital obligation” could no longer do so. They simply refused; they had enough. What could I say against such behavior? It was at variance with all socially dictated views…. I no longer had a clear conception of the relation of the psychic structure to the existing social system. The change in the patients’ attitude with respect to this moralistic code was neither clearly negative nor clearly positive. The new psychic structure appeared to follow laws which had nothing in common with the conventional demands and views of morality. It followed laws that were new to me, of which I had no inkling prior to this. The picture, which these laws offered when taken together corresponded to a different form of sociality. They embraced the best principals of official morality, e.g., that women must not be raped and children must not be seduced. At the same time, they contain moral modes of behavior which though flatly at variance with conventional conceptions were socially unimpeachable. (10)

      Up to this point, we have described normal and healthy functioning of the human organism from the orgonomic view point which entails full pulsation and propagation of orgone energy in the body as well as proper discharge of it by orgastic convulsions. We will now discuss how and why this healthy functioning with which humans are ordained becomes distorted and sick. In medical terms, we will discuss the pathology that distorts natural functioning of the human orgonomic structure.

Pathology

The most important pathology that interferes and disturbs the normal orgonomic functioning in the body is emotional and physical armoring. Armoring is defined as the organism’s defense structure consisting of emotional and physical rigidities, expressed by chronic muscle spasms and characterological incrustations which function as a defense against emotional expression, primarily love, anxiety, rage, and sexual excitement. Armoring develops during a child’s interaction with his or her environment which harshly represses the child’s expression of those primary impulses. Children initially protest these inhibitions by crying or throwing a temper tantrum but eventually they submit to the pressure for their own survival and part of these primary drives disassociates and turns against itself and by means of physical and psychological contraction they repressed their natural primary feelings. These muscular and emotional rigidities over time becomes chronic and permanent and even when the environmental conditions changes and environmental suppression is lifted the mechanism of suppression continues by child’s own volition from within by the established armor.

Dr. Morton Herskowich stated:

“Emotional armoring is one of the most important discoveries in the history of psychiatry” (11)

He then described the effects of armoring:

Armoring converts free laughter into a cackle or twitter; it may cause a woman to speak in a little girl’s voice; it does not merely change a function by degree but by a kind. It renders behavior more predictable and more stereotypical. Armoring constrains life. Armoring is most often revealed in muscle tension but it is also revealed in the eyes in that they are glazed, in excessive body fat, etc.… Armoring is a dynamic event and entails the consumption of energy. It constrains us physically, emotionally, and ideationally. It is a cocoon to which we gradually become accustomed. (12)

In orgonomy, armored and unarmored organism is schematically depicted as follows:

Figure 2. Unarmored Orgonotic System(13)

Figure 3. Depiction of the Armored Organism(14)

 

Once the armor is established, free and orderly flow of pulsating orgone energy in the body becomes blocked or distorted. This pathological phenomenon itself causes a wide variety of sicknesses which in orgonomy are referred to as “biopathies “.

Reich defines these biopathies:

The term biopathies refers to all disease processes caused by a basic dysfunction in the autonomic life apparatus. Once started, this dysfunction can manifest itself in variety of symptomatic disease patterns. The biopathy can result in carcinoma (carcinomatous biopathy), but it can just as easily lead to angina pectoris, asthma, cardiovascular hypertension, epilepsy, catatonic or paranoid schizophrenia, anxiety neurosis, multiple sclerosis, chorea, chronic alcoholism, etc. . . . We are still ignorant of the factors that determine the direction in which biopathy will develop. Of prime importance to us, however, is the common denominator of all these diseases: a disturbance in the natural function of pulsation in the total organism. Fractures, local abbesses, pneumonia, yellow fever, rheumatic pericarditis, acute alcohol poisoning, infectious peritonitis, syphilis, etc. . . are accordingly not biopathies. They do not develop from disturbances in autonomic pulsation of the total life apparatus, they are circumscribed and can only secondarily bring about disturbance of the biological pulsation.” (15)

Pulsation, of course, requires energy, and no pulsation will exist without the propagation of energy. The armor, the pathological base of biopathies, changes natural primary impulses such as love, rational anger, rational hate, to secondary and distorted impulses with different tendencies such as sadistic or distorted sexual impulses, kleptomania, fake altruism, and irrational hate as well as irrational anger
Dr. Reich, developed a blood test which reflects the red blood cells energetic status and is helpful for determination of the orgonotic status of the body. This test is called “Reich blood test” and is described in the book “Cancer Biopathy” (16) as well as it is described by Dr. Vicchetti’s articles, published in this journal (17) (18).

In orgonomy the model of human psychological and physical structure based on which the treatment proceeds are described as core, middle layer and periphery. Reich says:

Extensive and painstaking therapeutic work on human character has led me to the conclusion that, as rule, we are dealing with three different layers of the biopsychic structure in the evaluation of human reactions. As I demonstrated in my book Character-Analysis, these layers of the character structure are deposits of social development, which function autonomously. On the surface layer of his personality the average man is reserved, polite, compassionate, responsible, conscientious. There would be not social tragedy of the human animal if this surface layer of the personality were in direct contact with the deep natural core. This, unfortunately, is not the case. The surface layer of the social cooperation is not in contact with the deep biologic core of one’s selfhood; it is borne by a second, an intermediate character layer, which consists exclusively of cruel, sadistic, lascivious, rapacious, and envious impulses. It represents the Freudian “unconscious” or “what is repressed”; to put it in the language of sex-economy, it represents the sum total of all so-called “secondary drives”.
Orgone biophysics made it possible to comprehend the Freudian unconscious, that which is antisocial in man, as a secondary result of the repression of primary biologic urges. If one penetrates through this destructive second layer, deeper into the biologic substratum of the human animal, one always discovers the third, deepest layer, which we call the biologic core. In this core, under favorable social conditions, man is an essentially honest, industrious, cooperative, loving, and, if motivated, rationally hating animal. Yet it is not at all possible to bring about a loosening of the character structure of present-day man by penetrating to this deepest and so promising layer without first eliminating the nongenuine, spuriously social surface. (19)

Treatment

Now that we have established the pathology of the natural orgonomic functioning of the body as armoring, which causes various biopathies, we will now discuss the treatment of this pathology for restoring the natural orgonomic function of the body.

Treating biopathies focuses on dissolving the armor. Because the armor itself inhibits the proper flow of biological energy throughout the body and inhibits its proper metabolism by incapacitating the orgastic potency, the treatment should focus on dissolving the armor. Consequently, this treatment will reestablish the natural production and flow of biological energy and restore the body’s orgastic potency. Although in rare circumstances, the armor could be dissolved by chance, the systematic approach for dissolving the armor and restoring orgastic potency thus restoring physical and psychological health is only possible through psychiatric and physical orgone therapy. Reich describes psychiatric orgone therapy as a combination of character analysis and vegetotherapy:

In character analytic work, we begin by trying, in a constant and systematic way, to isolate the interlaced character attitudes and to unmask them one by one as a defense function in terms of their contemporary meaning and effectiveness. Our purpose is to release the affects which at one time were subject to severe inhibition and fixation. This is accomplished by loosening the incrustations of the character. Every successful dissolution of a character incrustation first liberates the emotions of anger or anxiety. By also treating these liberated emotions as a psychic defense mechanism, we eventually succeed in restoring to the patient his sexual motility and biological sensitivity. Thus, by dissolving chronic character attitudes, we bring about reactions in the vegetative nervous system. The breakthrough into the biological realm is that much more complete and energy-charged, the more thoroughly we treat not only the character attitudes, but also, muscular attitude corresponding to them. This causes a part of the work to be shifted from the psychological and characterological realm to the immediate dissolution of the muscular armor . . . . In the final analysis, I could not rid myself of the impression that somatic rigidity represents the most essential part in the process of repression . . . . It can be said that every muscular rigidity contains the history and the meaning of its origin. It is not as if we had to drive from dreams or associations how the muscular armor developed; the armor is the form in which the infantile experience is preserved as an impairment of functioning. For instance, the neurosis is not solely the expression of a disturbance of psychic equilibrium; it is, rather, in a far justified and deeper sense, the expression of a chronic disturbance of the vegetative equilibrium and of natural motility. . . .The dissolving of muscular armor generally begins with those parts of the body, usually the head, which are furthest away from the genitals. It is the facial attitude that is most conspicuous. (20)

In this article, I do not intend nor am I able to explain the intricacies of character analysis and vegetotherapy. Reich described them in detail as did Herskowich. Reich also described the psychiatric orgone treatment of a 27-year-old male in his book, “The Function of Orgasm”(21-22)

      In addition to psychiatric orgone therapy to dissolve the main pathology in the body, the armor, Reich attempted to harvest atmospheric orgone energy by designing a certain therapeutic instrument which he called the “orgone accumulator”. This instrument was constructed after many years of experiments, and several anecdotal reports have corroborated its effectiveness. The accumulator is composed of certain arrangements of organic and inorganic material that absorb and reflect atmospheric orgone energy. This approach is most effective for preventing and treating the early stages of biopathies.

Preventive Measures

After learning physiology, anatomy, pathology, and then treatment approaches, medical students then learn about the prevention of illnesses. This sequence is also true in organomy. If the armoring of the human organism is the pathological base of a wide variety of biopathies that affect the human race physically and emotionally and causes an epidemic of neurosis, can it be prevented?

      From an orgonomic point of view, social, cultural and economic conditions that cause armoring in children and adolescents must be identified and changed. The main causes of armoring in children and adolescents are authoritarian, anti-sexual, and anti-pleasure upbringings. It is important that orgonomic theories, concepts, and principles of health and sickness be understood and used as a guide for child rearing.

      From an orgonomic perspective, social institutions should raise children and adolescents based on children’s physical and emotional needs. The social, cultural and economic institutions should not raise children based upon their institution’s agendas and goals and mold them to serve their nationalist, religious, or economic ideologies.

      Preventive measures are explained more thoroughly by Reich in Children of Future. (23) Basically, to prevent armoring and raise healthy children, it is imperative that children’s autonomic life function be understood and measures be taken to nurture it as nature has ordained. As Reich stated, “As long as children will be harmed and hurt with all kinds of ugly things, with the knife right after the birth (circumcision), nothing will change . . . you cannot impose freedom on the ruined bioenergetic system of children” (24).

History attests to above Reich’s statement.

References

  1. Reich ,W. (1972) Character Analysis (3rd ed.) Farrar, Straus and Giroux. p.355
  2. Reich , W. (1967) Reich Speaks of Freud. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. p.15
  3. Reich , W. (1973) Cancer Biopathy. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. p.11
  4. Reich , W. (1973) The Function of Orgasm. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. p. 278
  5. Ibid. p.288-289
  6. Ibid. p.292
  7. Ibid. p.293
  8. Ibid. p.6
  9. Ibid. p.101
  10. Ibid. p. 175-179
  11. Simonian, S. (2015, May 2013). Dr. Herskowitz’s speech in IOS 2015 Spring Conference. The Journal of Psychiatric Orgone Therapy.
    Dr. Herskowitz’s Speech in IOS 2015 Spring Conference | The Journal of Psychiatric Orgone Therapy (psychorgone.com)
  12. Ibid. Herskowitz, M. Excerpts from Lecture in Germany. March,7,2010 Excerpts from Dr. Herskowitz™ Lecture in Germany, December 1993 | The Journal of Psychiatric Orgone Therapy (psychorgone.com)
  13. Reich, W. (1973). Ether, God, and Devil. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. p.120
  14. Reich ,W. (1973). The Function of Orgasm. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. p.294
  15. Reich, W. (1973) The Cancer Biopathy. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. p.151
  16. Ibid, p.170
  17. Vecchietti, A. (2021, Feb. 28). Reich Test for early cancer diagnosis. Journal of Psychiatric Orgone Therapy. REICH TEST FOR EARLY CANCER DIAGNOSIS | The Journal of Psychiatric Orgone Therapy (psychorgone.com)
  18. Ibid, July 22.2022. A Pictorial Essay of Photographic Evidence of Healthy and Cancer Cells. A Pictorial Essay of Photographic Evidence of Healthy and Cancer (Phase I) Cells, and RBCs After the Reich Biological Blood Tests | The Journal of Psychiatric Orgone Therapy (psychorgone.com)
  19. Reich, W. (1970) The Mass Psychology of Fascism. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. p. xi
  20. Reich, W. (1973) The Function of Orgasm. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. p.299-303
  21. Ibid. p.309
  22. Simonian,S. May,13,2010. Annotation on Dr.Reich’s Case, Orgasm Reflex. The Journal of Psychiatric Orgone Therapy,
    Annotation on Dr. Reich’s case: The Orgasm Reflex | The Journal of Psychiatric Orgone Therapy (psychorgone.com)
  23. Reich , W. (1983) Children of the Future. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
  24. Reich,W. (1967) Reich Speaks of Freud. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. p.31.

Posted in Biopathies & Psychiatric Orgone Therapy7 Comments

Secondary Drives in Orgonomy

Secondary Drives in Orgonomy

Secondary Drives in Orgonomy (1)

The concept of secondary drives in human psychology is an important discovery which is unique to orgonomy. This itself is the consequence of the discovery of the process of armoring in the human structure. Dr. Reich discovered that in the process of chronic contraction of the organism, the physical and psychological contraction becomes permanent and constitutes the armor which then prevents the expression of primary impulses. Armor, in orgonomy is defined as, “The total defense apparatus of the organism, consisting of the rigidities of the character and the chronic spasms of musculature, which functions essentially as a defense against the break-through of the emotions – primary anxiety, rage and sexual excitation.” (2) The primary impulses, such as love, fear, anger, and hate as a result of the armor are unable to be expressed in their original form. An alive organism, however, continuously produces the bioenergetically charged primary impulses from the core toward the periphery, from the inside toward the outside. These impulses continuously push and demand discharge. Armor eventually becomes unable to hold these impulses and the impulses take turns at this point. It may turn back and move in an opposite direction, from periphery toward inside, which will be experienced by the organism as a sense of anxiety. Or, it may go through countering and opposing forces that operate in the armor and emerge as their resultant force as a distortion of the initial primary motive which in orgonomy is called “secondary drives”. Secondary drives are basically distorted forms of primary drives that at times might have the opposite content what the initial primary drive. Examples of them are sadistic impulses, deviated sexual impulses, kleptomaniac impulses, fake altruistic behavior, irrational hate and irrational anger and so on…

The following is a schematic depiction of the unarmored orgonotic structure, versus armored organism, and production of secondary drives as a consequence of armoring.

Figure 1

Unarmored Orgonotic System (3)
Figure 2

Figure 3

The same functions in an armored organism. The inhibition of the primary impulse produces a secondary impulse and anxiety (4)

In psychology and psychoanalysis there is a concept which is called “displacement.” This term is originated by Sigmund Freud to underscore the fact that psychic energy can be redirected from one idea to another (5). However, in psychology and psychoanalysis there is no concept of the mechanism of the shift or redirection of the psychic energy from one idea to the other. Orgonomy by the virtue of discovery of the process of armoring, is able to provide a theoretical basis to explain this shift, and consequently provides a systematic treatment approach for eliminating the secondary drives and restoring the organism’s ability to express the natural and logical primary drives as nature has ordained.

There are ample clinical examples in orgonomy literature that substantiates the elimination of the secondary motives and restoring the ability of the patient to express his primary motives by psychiatric orgone therapy and successful elimination of armoring. Two of these examples are posted in this Journal under the title of Kleptomania, a Case Discussion and Annotation on Dr. Reich’s Case: The Orgasm Reflex.

Although the armor can be dissolved accidently by different events or consequences of life incidents, the systematic dissolution of it at present time is only possible by character analysis and vegetotherapy, (psychiatric orgone therapy) which is described in orgonomy literature, particularly in the book Character Analysis and The Function of Orgasm by Dr. Wilhelm Reich.

References

  1. Reich, W. (1949). The Theoretical Basis of Orgone Therapy. Clinical Lectures, CD. Audio recording.
  2. Rapheal, C. (1973) Orgonomy Glossary. Selected Writings, An Introduction to Orgonomy.
  3. Reich, Wilhelm. Ether, God, and Devil (p. 120). Original edition was published in 1949.
  4. Reich, Wilhelm (1973). Function of Orgasm Second Edition (p. 294). Original edition was published in 1942.
  5. Akhtar S. Comprehensive Dictionary of Psychoanalysis.

Posted in Biopathies & Physical Orgone Therapy1 Comment

Homosexuality and The Emotional Plague

Homosexuality and The Emotional Plague

Recently, the American media was barraged with news of the harassment of homosexuals and suicides that followed.  The New York Times on Wednesday, October 27th, 2010, reported the following regarding the suicide of a young promising violinist:

“Tyler Clemeni was an 18 year old Rutgers University freshman when he jumped from the George Washington Bridge in an apparent suicide in September 2010, days after he had been secretly filmed during an intimate encounter which was then broadcast on the Internet.

Mr. Clementi’s roommate and another classmate were charged in the case.  Authorities say the students used a camera in Mr. Clementi’s dormitory room to stream an intimate encounter involving Mr. Clementi live on the Internet.

Three days later, Mr. Clementi, an accomplished violinist, jumped into the Hudson River.  Witnesses told the police they saw a man jump of the bridge just before 9 p.m., said Paul J. Browne, the New York Police Department’s chief spokesman.  Officers discovered a wallet there with Mr. Clementi’s identification, Mr. Browne said.”    – The New York Times, Wednesday October 27th, 2010.

Another newsletter reported the following;

“Either way, Clementi’s death marks the fifth suicide by a gay teen in the past month.  Justin Aaberg, openly gay and just 15, committed suicide after being bullied in school.  Billy Lucas, also 15 wasn’t out, but was mercilessly bullied in school.  He hanged himself.  Asher Brown, 13, who told his parents he was gay the morning he shot himself in the head, was also bullied.  Ash Seth Walsh, also just 13, hanged himself after suffering from years of bullying.”  – Julie Gerstein, The Frisky.com, October 1st, 2010.

An abnormal condition in which a person takes pleasure in hurting another, an unwholesome love of cruelty, excessive cruelty, in the Webster dictionary is defined as sadism.  In psychiatry and psychoanalysis, sadism is attributed to different psychological mechanisms, for example, a sexual impulse which is manifested as a tendency to strike, abuse, or humiliate the object.   It is also defined as a defense against castration, fear, and the fear of ones own sexual excitement.  What might occur within the subject passively, is instead done actively to others-  “identification with aggressor”.  It is also described that the perversion of sadism depends upon the fusion of destructive energy with libidinal energy.  The discharge of aggression is in itself pleasurable, but sadism further implies pleasure in destruction of others.

There is no satisfactory explanation in general psychiatry and psychoanalysis of how this mechanism occurs, where and why the destructive energy appears, nor how it fuses with sexual energy.

In orgonomy however, we consider such behavior to be a consequence of the distortions of primary drives, which in orgonomy are called secondary drives.

We have described the emergence of secondary drives from primary drives in different articles in this journal.  In short, character analytic techniques in orgonomy  lead to the comprehension of  the human psychological structure, which schematically is composed of core, middle layer and outer layer, or periphery.  The  primary impulses which are emitted from the core of the organism, the impulses of love, sexuality, and rational anger, are fiercely blocked by outer prohibitions.  In due time, such environmental and outer inhibitions through the process of armoring, become internalized within the structure of the person. Suppression of primary motives in turn causes distortions and its distorted version in orgonomy is called secondary drives.  Secondary drives may turn inward and cause neurotic symptoms that agonize and torment the person with neurotic symptoms such as obsessional thoughts, anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, etc., or it may turn into a destructive force which operates  in the social scene. The latter in  orgonomy is called  “the emotional plague”.  The development of the secondary drives are related to the mechanism of armoring which is described by Dr.Reich in different books, most essentially in Character Analysis and The Function of The Orgasm and also is described in different articles in this journal.  Hence, the orgonomic model of the human psychological structure is the following: On the surface layer, the personality of the average man is polite, compassionate and conscientious.  At the core, he is honest, benevolent and longing for love. However the surface layer and the core are separated from each other by the middle layer, an intermediate layer which is the product of the outcome of forces that are on one hand primary and genuine, and  on the other hand opposing forces from the outer layer, from the armor. As a result of this conflict and stagnation, secondary motives develop in the  intermediate layer, which  consists of cruel, sadistic, lascivious, rapacious and envious impulses.  These secondary layers represent the Freudian “unconscious”, or that which is repressed.  In the language of orgonomy and sex economy, it represents the sum total of all secondary drives.

Dr. Reich, in The Function of the Orgasm, under the topic of destruction, aggression, and sadism, states the following:

“In psychoanalysis, the term aggression, sadism and destruction and death instincts were used randomly and interchangeably.  Aggression seemed identical with destruction which in turn was “the death instinct directed against the world”.  And sadism remained the primary partial instinct which begins to be active at a certain stage of sexual development.   On the basis of their origin and intentions, I attempted to assess all the human actions that are included under the concept of “hate”.  In my clinical work, I never encountered a death instinct, a will to die, as a primary instinct corresponding to sexuality or hunger.  All psychic manifestations that could be interpreted as “death instincts” proved to be a product of neurosis. Such for instance was the case in suicide, which was either an unconscious revenge on another person with whom one identified, or an action to escape the enormous unpleasure caused by an extremely embroiled life situation.

The patients fear of death could always be traced back to a fear of catastrophe and this fear, in turn, could be traced back to genital anxiety.  Moreover, analysts who  accepted the theory of the death instinct frequently confused anxiety and instinct.  It was not until 8 years later that the matter became clear to me; fear of death and dying is identical with unconscious orgasm anxiety.  The alleged death instinct, the longing for disintegration, for nothingness, is the unconscious longing for orgastic resolution of tension….

A living creature develops destructive impulses when it wants to destroy a source of danger. In this case the destruction or killing of the object is a biologically meaningful goal.  The original motive is not pleasure in destruction. Rather the destruction serves the “life instincts”…. In short, the impulse to destroy serves a primary biological will to live. As such it does not have a sexual connotation.  It’s goal is not pleasure, even though liberation from unpleasure is an experience similar to pleasure.  ……. An animal does not kill another animal because it takes pleasure in killing. It would be sadistic murder for the sake of pleasure.  It kills because it is hungry or because it feels that it’s life is threatened. Thus, here too,  the destruction serves the “life instincts”.

Aggression in the strict sense of the word, has to do neither with sadism nor with destruction, the word means “approach”.  Every positive manifestation of life is aggressive, the act of sexual pleasure as well as the act of destructive hate, the sadistic act as well as the act of producing food. Aggression is the life expression of musculature, of the system of movement.  The reassessment of the aggression is of enormous importance for the rearing of children.  Much of the  inhibition of aggression which our children have to endure to their own detriment, is the result of equating “aggressive” with “wicked” or “sexual”. Aggression is always an attempt to provide the means for the gratification of a vital need.  Aggression is not an instinct in the strict sense of the word; rather it is an indispensable mean of gratifying every instinctual impulse. The latter is inherently aggressive because the tension demands gratification. Hence there is a destructive, a sadistic, a loco-motor and as sexual aggressiveness.

If aggressive sexuality is denied gratification, the urge to gratify it in spite of denial continues to make itself felt.  Indeed, the impulse arises to experience the desired pleasure at all costs.  The need for aggression begins to drown out  the need for love. If the pleasurable goal is completely eliminated, ie. made unconscious, or imbued with anxiety, then aggression which originally was only a means, becomes a tension releasing action in itself.  It becomes pleasurable as an expression of life, thus giving rise to sadism.  Hate develops as a result of the exclusion of original goal of love. And the hate is most intense when the act of loving or being loved is blocked.  This is what brings the sexually motivated destructive intention into aggressive actions. An example of this would be sexual murder. Its precondition is the complete blocking of the ability to enjoy genital pleasure in a natural way. Thus the perversion of sadism is a mixture of primary  sexual impulse and secondary destructive impulse.  it does not exist anywhere else in the animal kingdom and is exclusively a characteristic of a man acquired late in development, a secondary drive.

Every seemingly arbitrary destructive action is a reaction of the organism to the frustration of a vital need, especially a sexual need.”

As we described earlier, these destructive impulses in the social scene, in orgonomy are called the emotional plague .  In character analysis, there is a chapter that Dr. Reich devoted to the description of the emotional plague.  He gives examples of specific reactions of inflicted people with emotional plague. Here is the description of such behaviour in the area of sexuality:

“The sexuality of the genital character (normal healthy character) is essentially determined by the basic natural laws of biological energy. He is so constituted that naturally takes pleasure in the sexual happiness of other, in the same way, he’s indifferent to perversion and has an aversion to pornography. The genital character is easily recognized by the good contact he has with healthy children. He considers it quite natural that children and adolescents are essentially sexually oriented.  The same way he foresees or at least strives to fulfill the “often socially restricted” demand which result from those biological facts.  This attitude exists spontaneously, whether a corresponding knowledge has been acquired or not….

In the plague-ridden character, the process is usually as follows;  The secondary drive held in check by the cultural and religious ideals break through.  The sexuality of the character afflicted with emotional plague is usually sadistic and pornographic. It is characterized by parallel existence of sexual lasciviousness (owing to the incapacity to achieve gratification) and sadistic moralism. This dualism is a part of his structure;  The plague afflicted individual could not change it even if he had insight  and knowledge.  In terms of his structure he cannot be anything but pornographically lascivious and sadistically moralistic at the same time.  This is the core of the character structure of the plague afflicted person.   This structure develops viscous hatred against every process which provokes its own orgastic yearning and hence orgasm anxiety…..

Clinical investigation leaves no room or doubt that sexual gossip or defamation afford these emotionally plagues individual a kind of perverse sexual gratification; they can thus attain sexual pleasure without the natural genital function…..”

Looking to the problem of homosexual harrasment from this point of view, from the point of view of irrational hatred attributed to the emotional plague, raises the following question; If the distortion and sickness is part of the emotional structure of the perpetrator of the harassment, then why should the victim feel ashamed and guilty and commit suicide?

One of my patients, who was a lady in her late 70’s, and had chronic depression with many hospitalizations and later committed suicide, once told me that in her youth she had a sexual encounter and was made to feel ashamed of it.  Another middle-eastern patient who had a pregnancy out of wedlock and  later  had a psychotic breakdown, upon admission to the psychiatric ward, in her confused and psychotic state, painted the word “whore” all over her face with lipstick.

The answers to these questions need individual analysis of the structure of each victim.  However, we can rationally speculate that a significant part of it is the anti-sexual upbringing of children that plants the seed of guilt and shame around sexual activity.  It is however their right and naturally constituted.

Posted in Sociology0 Comments

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