I will be focusing on the superego as a critical agency and will not be addressing the role of the ideal-ego which also plays a very important role in adolescence.
Two modalities of manic defences: Their function in adolescent breakdown
Article first published online: 22 MAR 2010
© 2010 Institute of Psychoanalysis
The International Journal of Psychoanalysis
Volume 91, Issue 3, pages 583–600, June 2010
How to Cite
Bronstein, C. (2010), Two modalities of manic defences: Their function in adolescent breakdown. The International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 91: 583–600. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-8315.2010.00261.x
- Issue published online: 24 JUN 2010
- Article first published online: 22 MAR 2010
- (Final version accepted 13 October 2009)
- adolescent breakdown;
- manic defences;
- paranoid anxieties;
- depressive anxieties;
The aim of this paper is to explore two different modalities of manic defences and their specific underlying anxieties. I will describe the relation between these defences and the role of the superego and their specific function in adolescent breakdown. While one type of manic defence operates by the ego’s identification with a sadistic superego the other one operates via evacuation of a guilt-inducing superego. I will illustrate the proposed ideas with clinical examples from the analysis of two adolescents. This paper stresses the specific differences between these two modalities and the clinical importance of both identifying and addressing the enactment in the transference of the unconscious phantasies and anxieties (paranoid and depressive) that give rise to these two types of defences.