The Wound of Mortality: Fear, Denial, and Acceptance of Death

The Wound of Mortality: Fear, Denial, and Acceptance of Death

by Salman Akhtar
     
 

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Death is a much avoided topic. Literature on mourning exists, but it focuses chiefly upon the death of others. The inevitable psychic impact of one's own mortality is not optimally covered either in this literature on mourning or elsewhere in psychiatry and psychoanalysis. The Wound of Mortality brings together contributions from distinguished psychoanalysts to

Overview

Death is a much avoided topic. Literature on mourning exists, but it focuses chiefly upon the death of others. The inevitable psychic impact of one's own mortality is not optimally covered either in this literature on mourning or elsewhere in psychiatry and psychoanalysis. The Wound of Mortality brings together contributions from distinguished psychoanalysts to fill this gap by addressing the issue of death in a comprehensive manner. Among questions the contributors raise and seek to answer are: Do children understand the idea of death? How is adolescent bravado related to deeper anxieties about death? Is it normal and even psychologically healthy to think about one's own death during middle age? Does culture-at-large play a role in how individuals conceptualize the role of death in human life? Is death "apart" from or "a part" of life? Enhanced understanding of such matters will help mental health clinicians treat patients struggling with death-related concerns with greater empathy.

Editorial Reviews

Patrick Mahony
This anthology is edited by Salman Akhtar, who is now well on his way to becoming the most prolific author in psychoanalytic history. Akhtar's sterling introduction, together with twelve subsequent essays by psychoanalysts, offers a vast examination of death, ranging from Freudian to post-Freudian commentary, from the theoretical to the clinical, from the cultural to the intrapsychic, from the transferential to the countertransferential, and from the developmental to the defensive. Recalling E.M. Forster's remark that physical death destroys us whereas the thought of death may save us, readers of this book might also experience the wound of mortality as losing some of its sting.
David M. Sachs
If you believe as I do that psychoanalysts have underestimated the importance of the conscious and cultural meanings of mortality by emphasizing its unconscious significances alone, this book restores the appropriate balance that is not to be missed. As a reward, the reader's empathic sensitivity will be broadened and interpretations of all sorts of anxieties, fantasies, and concerns about death will be enriched.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780765706997
Publisher:
Aronson, Jason Inc.
Publication date:
02/16/2010
Series:
Margaret S. Mahler Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
216
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

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Meet the Author

Salman Akhtar is professor of psychiatry at Jefferson Medical College and Training and Supervising Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia.

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