Pharmacopsychiatric aspects of a particular type of juvenile failure are discussed. The fact that this type of syndrome responds surprisingly well to desipramine (Pertofran) served as a reason for studying the characteristic structure of the underlying loss of drive. Consideration was also given to the clinical experience that phenomenologically similar forms of deficiency following endogenous psychoses are often refractory to the same therapy. It is shown that the disorders of drive which respond to Pertofran must, as forms of impaired motivation, be distinguished from asthenic manifestations which are revealed to the observer by the interplay between the patient and his surroundings, where they appear as a type of situative rigidity. It is only the latter which fit the classic theory of insufficiency based on a predetermined unspecific energy of drives.

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