"The fluidity of the differentiation between ego and ideal,
the easy revival of the mechanism of undoing the separation
between self and powerful object, the loss of ability to distinguish
wish from fulfillment, the temporary disintegration of reality
testing, are the decisive characteristics of these primitive
structures, which I would prefer to call narcissistic "ego ideals"
in contrast to the normal superego. When in pathologic states,
as for instance in manic triumph, a dissolution of the superego
occurs, we may speak of a regression of the superego occurs,
we may speak of a regression of the superego into more
primitive ego ideals.
The fluidity of ego differentiations is regularly found in so-called
"narcissistic personalities." Undoing of the differentiation
becomes the basis for exorbitant self-esteem; its reappearance
leads to the outbreak of "narcissistic anxieties" like fear of being
inferior, over concern with other people's thoughts about oneself,
The faculty for regressive undoing of ego differentiation is based
upon fixation at early levels of ego development..."
Annie Reich, *Psychoanalytic Contributions*
International Universities Press, 1973