Sigmund Freud Biography

Sigismund Freud, Sigmund Freud (Freiberg, Moravia [present-day Czech Republic] 6 May 1856 – London, England, 23 September 1939).

Scientist and Physician Neurologist recognized for being the founder of the psychiatric current of Psychoanalysis, as well as Psychotherapy, a psychological method based on free association and the interpretation of dreams, as means to achieve understanding in the “conscious” what the mind harbors in the “unconscious” as a product of his experiences.

His theories were controversial at the time, however, his contributions began a new chapter in Science’s conception of the mind, which is why he is considered one of the most influential physicians of the twentieth century.

Early life

Sigismund Freud was born on 6 May 1856, in the town of Freiberg, Moravia, located in the present-day territory of the Czech Republic, into a Jewish family, not practitioner.

He was the third of ten children of wool merchant Jacob Freud with third wife Amalia Nathansohn. When he was three years old, the family moved to Vienna, where he lived most of his life, before having to emigrate to England, due to persecution by the Nazi regime.

In 1873, at the age of 17, he began his studies in Medicine at the University of Vienna, from which he graduated in 1881. Between 1876 and 1882 he served at the Vienna Institute of Physiology as an assistant to E. Brecke.  From 1877 he began to use the abbreviated form of his name, Sigmund Freud, for which he would be known historically. He stood out for being a brilliant student.

Beginnings as a Physician

Between 1883 and 1885, Freud worked at the Vienna General Hospital. At this time, he oriented his research towards the study of the effects of cocaine, as an analgesic and stimulant, performing several experiments with this substance in The Neuroanatomy Laboratory of Solomon Stricker, even coming to prove its effects on it Same.

Between 1884 and 1887 he published several articles on the results of his research, demonstrating the analgesic nature of cocaine.

In 1884 he published his work On Coca. However, he implemented the use of this substance in his friend Ernst von Fleischl-Marxow, in order to treat the morphine addiction, however the patient developed a second addiction, which quickly led to his death, a fact that tarnished his reputation Freud’s professional.

Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy

In order to support his wife Martha Bernays, whom he married in 1880, after a long courtship, Freud opened a private center to treat conditions and nervous disorders.

In principle, he devoted himself to the treatment of hysteria and neurosis, through the application of the methods of catharsis and hypnosis, previously practiced by Joseph Breuer, who had been his tutor, in 1880, during his studies of medicine at the University.

Gradually, Freud turned away from these methods, developing between 1895 and 1900 the therapeutic use of free association and the interpretation of dreams as a way of getting, to the surface of the conscious, sexual and aggressive desires, suppressed in the unconscious – sometimes from childhood – in order to heal physical ailments or behavioral disturbances that were given as a reflection of this contention.

For his part, Breuer also took a distance, arguing that Freud’s fixation on sexual instincts was exaggerated.

In 1899 he published his work The Interpretation of Dreams, considered one of the most important publications of Psychiatry, being considered in the founding book of Psychoanalysis.

After a few years of isolation, due to the controversial concepts and methods, Freud began to gain adepts and disciples eager to begin studying his new theory, later forming the Viennese Psychoanalytic Association.

Some historians consider the year 1902 to be his official recognition as founder of Psychoanalysis, when he was appointed as professor of Neuropathology at the University of Vienna, where he remained until 1938.

In 1909 he was recognized with an honorary doctorate from Clark University, located in Massachusetts, in recognition of his scientific work. That same year he was invited to the United States to offer a group of lectures on his discoveries in the field of psychoanalysis.

In 1911, his psychoanalytic movement suffered its first schism, when six of his disciples decided to leave the school of Psychoanalysis, this being the first precedent before the separation of Carl Gustav Jung, who in 1913 would break definitively with Freud, developing his own psychological theory, known as Analytical Psychology, in which he proposed a study of the complexes and archetypes of the human psyche.

Freud’s written work was prolific, currently grouped into twenty-three tomes, covering his writings from 1892 to 1938, under the name Of Complete Works of Sigmund Freud.

Final years

In 1938, Austria was annexed to the territory of Nazi Germany. Freud and his family began to be strongly harassed for their Jewish status, despite not being practitioners.

Freud went into exile in London, England, thanks to the intervention of psychoanalysts Marie Bonaparte and Ernest Jones. However, his brothers decided to stay in Vienna. Four of his sisters were arrested and subsequently died in concentration camps.

In 1939, his health was greatly impaired by a cancer of the palate, caused by his strong addiction to cigars, and he had suffered from the last decade, suffering countless health complications.

On 23 September 1939, exhausted from physical illness, he urged his doctor and friend Max Schur to keep his promise not to let him suffer when the given moment came.

Three injections of morphine were given to Freud, which ended his life. She is survived by her six children, conceived in her marriage to Martha Bernays, of whom her daughter Anne became a renowned psychoanalyst.

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Sigmund Freud Biography
Source: Education  
July 28, 2019

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