Some Clinical Aspects of Dependence
This chapter describes some of the vicissitudes of dependence in symptom and character formation, some of the dynamics of reactive dependence, and some of the ways man adapts to his dependent needs. Reactive dependence is readily observable in domesticated animals. The importance to survival of dependence in infancy and childhood leaves its mark. Excessive dependence is readily accepted as a common denominator in alcoholism and drug addiction, where the alcohol, the drug is substituted for the object. Dependence on another human being for the gratification of needs may lead to insecurity from which hostility may follow. As in Richard B.’s case, the valued relationship may be precariously retained, and the need craving gratification may be denied, repressed, or otherwise defended against. Richard B. manifested this by largely denying and inhibiting sensuality in order to retain mother’s love. To retain parental love, a child will control disapproved behavior.