Depression as the sign of true self.


  • M M Brazette Hospital Miguel Bombarda, Lisboa.



Referring to examples from the poetry of Fernando Pessoa and Mário de Sá Carneiro, we draw attention to the narcissistic relationship between mother and baby, to the role of the mirror-image of the mother's face, and to the organization of a false self caused by a deficiency both of that function, and of the narcissistic investment of the child. The false self is a defence mechanism which protects the true self. This may appear as a depressive state with a feeling of loss and emptiness. The depression is, in such cases, a sign and a clue which may lead to the revelation of the true self.


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How to Cite

Brazette MM. Depression as the sign of true self. Acta Med Port [Internet]. 1992 Dec. 1 [cited 2024 Jun. 24];5(11):581-2. Available from:



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