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Nord J Psychiatry. 2001;55(6):419-25.

Social phobia: research and clinical practice.

Author information

1
Anders Lund, Psykiatrisk avdeling, Haukeland Sykehus, NO-5021 Bergen, Norway.

Abstract

Social phobia is a pervasive pattern of social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy, and hypersensitivity, occurring in about 18% of the clinical population. Despite good results with cognitive-behavioural treatment, social phobia seems to be a chronic disorder with several complications. The author describes an analysis of a divorced woman who was exposed to an early premature sexual seduction by her father, abruptly terminated because of an accident. The loss of the father was repaired by a delusional system as defence against the re-emergence of a catastrophic situation. Her compulsion to repeat the traumatic situation was seen in symbolic attempts to reproduce the lost experience of forbidden pleasure with other men, ending in hopeless affairs. According to DSM-IV the patient had-besides social phobia-several personality disturbances, clinically manifested by weak ego boundaries, an unclear identity, and low self-esteem. Cognitive-behavioural therapy and psychopharmaca were without any effect. The childhood experiences were repeated in the context of the analysis and worked through, especially the pre-oedipal and oedipal conflicts. Important repeating themes were "crime", guilt, and punishment. After 3 years of analysis it was possible for the patient to expose herself to anxiety-producing situations with less symptoms. It was possible for her to withdraw the projections and take more responsibility for the unconscious sexual and aggressive impulses. At the 5-year follow-up her satisfactions had become more realistic and she became involved in a positive relationship.

PMID:
11839136
DOI:
10.1080/08039480152693327
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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