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(p. 253) Psycho-Neurosis in Childhood 

(p. 253) Psycho-Neurosis in Childhood
(p. 253) Psycho-Neurosis in Childhood

Donald W. Winnicott

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date: 11 April 2021

In this paper, given to a Scandinavian Orthopsychiatric Congress, Winnicott speaks of the psycho neuroses of childhood. He writes that the origins of psychoneurosis are found in the childhood of every individual, and psychoses proper have to do with the structure of the personality. In the psychoneuroses, functioning object relationships usually obtain, but symptomatology arising from inner conflict also occurs and leads to various symptoms. Depression, persecution anxieties and antisocial tendencies may be part of the child’s defensive system in trying to cope with this. Those children whose early environment—and its essential feature of infant dependence—has been satisfactory, those with normal family life, and those in institutional care are each described and differentiated. Winnicott touches on adolescence and the need for true not false solutions, and he recognizes that real mental health may include the capacity for depression and even madness to a degree.

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