Sigmund Freud Life Description

Sigmund Freud is a name that is immensely popular in the psychological community. His realizations and discoveries in the field of psychoanalytic psychology will never be forgotten and are still studied to this day. Though Freud went through many enduring and eventful experiences during his life, he still achieved the title of “the founder of modern psychology” and his legacy will live on as more psychoanalytic psychology advancements are made in the future.

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Sigismund Schlomo Freud was born in a little town outside of Vienna, Austria-Hungary on May 6, 1856. His name came from Sigismund the Holy Roman Emperor, which came as a sign that he would be destined for success. He came from a poor and destitute family. His father, Jacob, was a wool merchant, who barely brought home enough money to provide for his family. Freud lived in a one room shack, along with his two older half brothers and his mother, who was twenty years younger than his forty-two year old father. There must have been much confusion within the household and within young Freud, considering the age differences of his mother and father. His half brothers also looked old enough to be married to his mother. The distortion of his family was questioned even more when his mother gave birth to another son named Julius, who died at the young age of six months. After the death of his younger sibling, Freud moved to the Austro-Hungarian capital of Vienna. As he grew up, his family grew as well, gaining five sisters and a brother. Despite these changes to the Freud household, he still remained a “golden boy” as his mother had called him as a child. In some cases, he received special treatment from his parents just to get what he wanted. Freud was an excellent, dedicated student and studied vigorously in order to receive passing grades. He also studied various languages outside of the school setting. However, Freud had tendencies that most children of that time period would not have even thought of-he kept a journal on the dreams and fantasies that he had every night. Little did he know that this part in his daily routine would someday influence his future career choice.

He went onto medical school at the University of Vienna, where he wanted to become a research scientist. At the time, there was a quota on how many Jews were to be in this particular field. He chose to become a doctor, due to receiving money quicker than that of the research scientist. In the midst of his time during college, he studied diverse objects such as the organs of several aquatic creatures and ideas such as the use of cocaine as a therapeutic drug. Freud then went on to intern at the Hospital of Vienna, where he specialized in nervous diseases and hysteria. He studied under the leadership of world renowned psychological figure Jean-Martin Charcot. Charcot used the unheard of method of hypnosis to treat mentally ill patients. In working with Charcot, Freud learned the principles of the “second mind”, which would then become the “unconscious mind”. The ideas that Charcot promoted were definitely unusual, but they would influence Freud’s psychological intellect in the future. Freud began his own medical practice in Paris, where he specialized in hypnosis and he invented the Freudian couch. These types of couches are most commonly used in modern psychiatry offices. At the time, they were feasible because it was easier to hypnotize someone laying down than standing up. In the beginning, hypnosis did not work on the majority of Freud’s patients so he used other various types of psychological therapy, such as spa cures, electro-therapy, hydro-therapy, and the use of the magnetizer. However, through several experiments with patients, Freud discovered the concepts of psychoanalysis, also known as “the talking cure”. The basics of psychoanalysis include dealing with unconscious thoughts and emotions. The psychodynamic theory also stemmed from this idea. This theory is “any theory of behavior that emphasizes internal conflicts, motives, and unconscious force”. In his research, Freudian slips were discovered. These were slips of the tongue and often revealed a person’s true emotions toward an idea or feeling. Using the newfound method of psychoanalysis, Freud found that the root of all amorous diseases was sex. In the public eye, Freud was viewed as a licentious man who enjoyed promoting his “pornograhic” works. In 1900, Freud wrote his most popular work discussing his own psychological self-analysis, The Interpretation of Dreams. Freud was named the Professor of Neuropathy at the University of Vienna in 1902 and was in this position until 1938. The start of World War I ushered in new issues for Freud, as his works about the unconscious mind and emotional behaviors were exposed to the world. In the 1930’s, Nazis burned Freud’s books due to the fact that psychoanalysis was looked upon as a “Jewish science”. In the later years of his life, Freud developed jaw cancer and had to have a large portion of his jaw removed. He was operated on 33 times to rid himself of the spreading cancer. However, after a long fight with cancer, he sadly passed away in September of 1939.

As the information states, Sigmund Freud was a visionary for his time, despite the public’s image of him. Though he presented ideas that were not necessarily discussed in regular conversation during this time period, he made discoveries that would lead to psychological advancements that would change the world in the future.

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