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Should Anal Retentive Behavior be Classified as a Mental Disorder?


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Wrath is used only when the anger leads to violence. Wrath causes fights and murder.

As commonly used, “wrath” means “great anger”, but linguistically, they’re interchangeable, synonyms.


Etymologically, “anger” comes through Norse and English from Greek and Latin meaning “constrict” or “strangle”, while “wrath” comes from an old English word meaning “twist” or “writhe”, which I find revealing, as these place emphasis more on the act of controlling an emotion – “choking down you rage” than expressing it.


Expressing the emotion of anger is better described by the word “rage”, which can be both a noun and a verb (eg: “his rage was boundless”; “he raged against the injustice of the regime”). Rage comes from the same Indian to Latin to English root as rabies (the disease), meaning either violence or insanity. Ancient Indians apparently considered violence and insanity near synonyms.


I’ve a suspicion – but no citations to back it up – that the word “wrath” was kept popular in the English lexicon because it was used in the King James translation of the Bible – 149 times in the Old Testament, 1 time in the New – and because, as the wrath referenced was usually divine and occasionally earth-shattering, gained the connotation of being much more severe than mere “anger”.

There are no other uses of "retentive" in English. We do not say, "animal retentive". The word "retentive" is not used with sex of any kind. Perhaps it should.

Though not a common word, according to dictionaries, the word ”retentive” has been around a long time, and is used to describe many things capable of holding stuff in. Though a different form (verb, and noun, not adjective), my guess is the most common uses these days are in phrases like “retaining water” to describe perimenstrual edema (bloating), and to describe mechanical parts (retainer rings, clips, etc, which keep parts from falling out of machines, etc.)


If I heard a person described as animal retentive, my first thought would be not that they were being accused not of animal hoarder, but of gerbilling – despite a lack of credible evidence that this latter practice ever actually occurring (hilarious as they may be, South Park episodes don’t constitute credible evidence).

"Anal retentive" is a phrase invented a century ago. Literally, it means to refuse to excrete from the anus. To "hold one's ****" and not go to the bathroom. The idea behind it was very different, and was applied to people who focused so hard on one thing, that they could not do anything else. They would read a book and forget to eat and drink.

I think this slightly misses the original Freudian meaning of the phrase.


Freud theorized that human development, from infancy to adulthood, has 5 psychosexual stages: oral; anal; phallic; latent; and genital. Except for the latent stage, each involves focus on a particular sensitive body part. If not correctly – which means more-or-less physically pleasantly – passed, a human becomes “fixated” in that stage, and winds up doing or at least thinking about something unhealthily bizarre with the offended body part. The most common cause of a failed stage of development is ones parents/caregivers.


The anal stage occurs from about age 1 to 3 years, the “toilet training” age at which children learn to control their defecation and urination. It ones parents mess up this stage, such as by punishing and humiliating a child for toilet training accidents, bedwetting, etc, the resulting fixation can go one of two ways: retentive, in which the child tries to avoid punishment and humiliation by not defecating or urinating at all, or expulsive, where the child defies the parent by defecating and urinating as much and in as many and the most inappropriate places as he can. As adults, anal expulsives are messy and defiant, which anal retentives are excessively neat, and self- and other-controlling.


Again, I must caveat that all of Freud’s theories aren’t to be taken as seriously modern psychology – despite that, for a time, they very much were.

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This maybe because the going out of excreta, is a "signature" of the Sin of Gluttony ?


This discussion is not about "sins".


I understand that you may have trouble understanding English and expressing yourself in it, but stay on topic or do not post in this thread if you do not have anything relevant to say.

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