19 Pages

Infantile Anxiety

WithRank Otto

The immediate conclusion which can be deduced from these analytic experiences and from the significance they have for the patient is that the patient’s Unconscious uses the analytic healing process in order to repeat the trauma of birth and thus partially to abreact it. Every child has anxiety, and from the stand point of the average healthy adult, one can, with a certain amount of justification, designate the childhood of individuals as their normal neurosis. Only this may continue into adult life in the case of certain individuals, the neurotics, who therefore remain infantile or are called infantile. The equally frequent anxiety about small animals, which, however, is usually accompanied by dread, has the same foundation, and the “uncanniness” of these objects clearly betrays this origin. In thoroughly investigating the conditions under which the child’s anxiety arises, the author finds that the anxiety experienced at parturition really continues, undisposed of, to influence the child.