In 1974, after months of anger and anxiety, Ms. R, “a 23-year-old attractive married woman,” wrapped her child’s crib sheet around her neck in an attempt to hang herself. She’d been carrying a pregnancy that her husband did not want and miscarried in the second trimester. Her psychotherapist determined that the suicide attempt was the result of “pathological morbid grief,” while the miscarriage itself resulted from “preexisting sadomasochistic conflicts” and “conflicts about the feminine biological role.” Miscarriage was “an unconscious alternative to motherhood,” and women who miscarried “were more closely attached to their fathers than to their mothers” (
1). In other words, when a pregnancy went awry and a woman suffered psychologically, she had no one to blame but herself.
- Corney R.T.
- Horton Jr., F.T.
Pathological grief following spontaneous abortion.
Am J Psychiatry. 1974; 131: 825-827
To read this article in full you will need to make a payment
Purchase one-time access:Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
One-time access price info
- For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
- For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'
Subscribe:Subscribe to Biological Psychiatry
Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
Already an online subscriber? Sign in
Register: Create an account
Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect
- Pathological grief following spontaneous abortion.Am J Psychiatry. 1974; 131: 825-827
- They lost their pregnancies. Then prosecutors sent them to prison..(Available at:)https://www.themarshallproject.org/2022/09/01/they-lost-their-pregnancies-then-prosecutors-sent-them-to-prisonDate: 2022Date accessed: December 22, 2022
- Psychological morbidity following miscarriage.Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2007; 21: 229-247
- Infertility and perinatal loss: When the bough breaks.Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2016; 18: 31
- Lupus anticoagulant in pregnancy.Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1984; 91: 357-363
- The reproductive autoimmune failure syndrome.Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1988; 159: 223-227
- Hepatitis C and depression.Depress Anxiety. 1998; 7: 188-193
- Inflammation in depression and the potential for anti-inflammatory treatment.Curr Neuropharmacol. 2016; 14: 732-742
- Perinatal depression—the fourth inflammatory morbidity of pregnancy? Theory and literature review.Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2013; 38: 1929-1952
- Inflammatory markers in late pregnancy in association with postpartum depression—A nested case-control study.Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2017; 79: 146-159
Published online: March 06, 2023
Accepted: January 5, 2023
Received in revised form: January 4, 2023
Received: December 19, 2022
Publication stageIn Press Journal Pre-Proof
© 2023 Society of Biological Psychiatry.