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a. A desire for self-destruction, often accompanied by feelings of depression, hopelessness, and self-reproach.
b. The desire, often unconscious, for the death of another person, such as a parent, toward whom one has unconscious hostility.
2. A suicidal urge thought to drive certain people to put themselves consistently into dangerous situations.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
death wishFreud's ‘thanatos’, which, like so many of his concepts, was derived from classical mythology. This idea, conceived late in his career, proposed that responses such as denial and rejection of pleasure or the repeated seeking of extreme danger indicated a general wish or instinct for death.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005