2000 suplement 2


Volume 9, suplement 2

On the cover

The effect of stress on personality defence mechanisms prior to and following an aggressive offence

1. Zakładu Patologii Społecznej Katedry Psychiatrii CM UJ w Krakowie
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii, 2000, 9, suplement 2 (10), 243-251
Keywords: personality defence mechanisms / stress / PTSD / forensic psychiatry


Personality defence mechanisms are unconscious devices which help people to cope with conflict. Conflict usually accompanies the acute or chronic reaction to stress which so often precipitates aggressive offences. The author discusses the most important directions of research on defence mechanisms. He analyses 35 cases of severe aggressive offence in which stress was the major precipitating factor and finds that, prior to the offence, the offender was most lacking in rationalisation, suppression and repression. Exposure to stress aggravates the conflict which can no longer be alleviated by means of unconscious regulation and an aggressive offence is therefore committed.

Address for correspondence:
Dr Janusz Heitzman, Zakład Patologii Społecznej Katedry Psychiatrii CM UJ,
ul. Kopernika 21, 31-501 Kraków