Some clinical consequences of introjection: gaslighting

Psychoanal Q. 1981 Jan;50(1):44-66.


In the regression from the oedipal impulses some, perhaps many, people retreat to the introjective (oral) mode of defense. This and other defensive maneuvers culminate in a variety of behaviors which have been extensively and variously described in the literature. The authors describe, under the rubric of "gaslighting," an outcome of the introjective defense in which a victim and a victimizer join psychological modes in expressing and defending themselves against oral, incorporative impulses (greed), each in his or her own way.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Defense Mechanisms*
  • Dominance-Subordination*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oral Stage
  • Projection
  • Psychoanalytic Therapy / methods*
  • Psychotic Disorders / etiology
  • Scapegoating
  • Self Concept
  • Social Dominance*