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Sublimate Rather than Scream


Thorp, John M., Jr. (2019). Sublimate Rather than Scream. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 126(4), 433.


The psychological term sublimation arises from the Latin word sublimare, which means ‘to raise to a higher status’. It is specifically used to describe the behaviour in which we choose to modify the expression of an impulse from a self-destructive response to one with better ends for both the individual and society. A simple example would be to experience great anger and, rather than do or say something harmful, to go out and chop wood and thereafter give the firewood produced to a needy neighbour. It is often used by both clinicians and patients in response to unexpected adverse events and two commentaries in this issue of BJOG can illustrate the concept.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology


Thorp, John M., Jr.