On Mood Swings: The Psychobiology of Elation and Depression

By Susanne P. Schad-Somers | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TEN
Case Material

Portraits Revisited

What keeps people happy and free from sadness and depression is a cluster of variables which, taken together, constitute what Sigmund Freud called "the ability to love and to work." We need to belong and we need to feel good about ourselves. Consequently people who have been given a psychiatric diagnosis have to first integrate that information into their ongoing biographies in such a way that their self-esteem and their sense of belonging is not diminished by that label. A diagnosis of an affective disorder usually also sheds a new and different light on the story of one's life, provides a benign explanation for some past events, and casts some doubts on some of one's own and other people's judgments. Additionally, it raises not a few questions with respect to the future. In that context the person/patient who grew up singled out as the "problem child," as "the crazy one," or the family scapegoat, faces the most difficult problems. They have struggled all their lives against parental invalidation and disqualification. After the diagnosis has been given, they tend to feel, at least initially, that their family's judgments have now been officially confirmed, that it was indeed the child who was always "crazy," i.e., wrong, guilty, the cause of the family's unhappiness. It takes some hard work sometimes for patients to

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On Mood Swings: The Psychobiology of Elation and Depression
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Foreword vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Contents xiii
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter One - Jack the Wrong Kind of Help 17
  • Chapter Two - Portraits 23
  • Chapter Three - History 65
  • Chapter Four - Psyche 85
  • Chapter Five - The Biology of Cell Communication 99
  • Chapter Six - Psychobiology 125
  • Chapter Seven - The Acquisition of Mood Regulation in the Human Infant 148
  • Chapter Eight - How Psychotherapy Heals 178
  • Chapter Nine - Special Problems 209
  • Chapter Ten - Case Material 231
  • Postscript Behavioral Medicine 253
  • References 259
  • Index 275
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