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Unformatted text preview: n obsession that such pleasure is debasing; and a feeling
of self-disgust and self-hatred results that is the more tragic since it is useless.
There are those in whom self-love and self-esteem is at a lower pressure than with the average man, just as
there are those in whom it is at a much higher pressure. Such people, when fatigued or when subject to the
hostile or even non-friendly opinion of others, become so-called self-conscious, i. e., are afflicted with fear
and a feeling of inferiority. This may deepen into self-contempt and self-hatred. Part of what is called
confidence in oneself is self-esteem, and under fatigue, illness, after punishment of a physical or mental
nature, it is apt to disappear. Very distressing is this in those who have been accustomed to courage and
self-confidence, perhaps whose occupation makes these qualities necessary. Soldiers, after gassing or cerebral
concussion, men completely without introspection, fearless and gay with assurance, become apprehensive,
self-analytical and without the least faith in themselves, so that they approach their work in fear. So with men
who work in high places or where there is risk, such as steeplejacks, bridge builders, iron workers, engineers;
let an accident happen to them, or let there occur an exhausting disease with its aftermath of neurasthenia, and
the self-esteem and self-confidence disappear so that in many cases they have to give up their job.
Because self-disgust and hatred are so painful, compensatory "mechanisms" have been set up. There is in
many people a tendency to project outward the blame for those acts or thoughts which they dislike. In the
pathological field we get those delusions of influence that are so common. Thus a patient will attribute his CHAPTER VIII. 66 obscene thoughts and words to a hypnotic effect of some person or group of persons and saves his own face
by the delusion. In lesser pathological measure, men have fiercely preached against the snares and wiles of
women, refusing to recognize...
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- Spring '11