Sigmund Freud Background info:
external image sigmund_freud.jpg1856-1939
At this point, you've probably read quite a bit about this guy Sigmund Freud. If you're like me you've probably wondered how he came up with some of the things that are now standard belief in psychology, such as the secret desires hidden in dreams, i.e, a gun equaling a..-_- , etc. I thought, to understand the madness we must first understand the man.

Freuds story, like many others, doesn't begin with him. His story begins with the people who influenced him, starting with his friend and mentor Dr. Joseph Breuer and his patient Anna O. I'm going to start with Anna because.....

....seems like Freuds kind of girl.
....seems like Freuds kind of girl.
...she had a few problems.
Anna was a patient of Dr. Breur from 1880 to 1882, she was twenty one years old and spent most of her time nursing her sick father. She developed speech disorders, in which she would speak in different languages or become completely mute. As well as this she developed a cough that had no physical basis. If that wasn't strange enough, after the death of her father, she began to refuse food and periodically lose the feeling in her hands and feet, developed paralysis and had involuntary spasms, ya know from time to time. She also had hallucinations, tunnel vision, delusional fairy tale fantasies and even tried the occasional suicide.....without the use of drugs or anything physical altering of her perception. Needless to say, her and Freud sound like a match made in heaven. Freuds main man Breur stepped in and diagnosed Anna with hysteria. He would calm her down through the use of hypnosis and other methods
dont freak out...
dont freak out...

....its therapeutic i swear..
After eleven years, Freud and Breur would write a book all about hysteria, stating that all hysteria is bred from a traumatic event...
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Freud recieved valuable experience in the world of psychology through Breur and Anna. You may be thinking, "She had a condition, it couldn't be helped, its wrong to call her crazy." No, no it isn't wrong to call someone crazy, crazy... in fact it seems the only real appropriate thing to do. This woman was so crazy, that after falling in love with Dr. Breur, she fabricated her own pregnancy to such a psychologically disturbed level that she showed physical symptoms of pregnancy...

Now that you know where he's going, lets take a look at where he's been. Borrn in 1856 in a small town in named Freidberg Moravia, Freud was a man of many siblings , having two older half-brothers and six younger siblings. His father was a wool merchant and his mother can only be described as a lively woman...whatever that means. Freud was always at the top of his class in whatever school he attended, including medical school , where he became involved in research under a physiology professor by the name of Ernst Brucke.
Freud was very good at research into neurophysiology and things of that nature, peaking his interest into the dynamcs of the human personality and the brain. After spending a short time as a resident neurologist and director of a children's ward in Berlin he was married to his long time fiance and set up a practice in neuropsychiatry with Dr. Joseph Breur....See...I didn't waste your time earlier with Joseph and Anna, they were important, I had a point. Freuds lectures and books brought him both fame and ostracism from the mainstream community. His strange enthusiasm brought around him many sympathizers who became the core of his psychoanalytic movement. However, Freud had a penchant to stray away from people who didn't totally agree with what he was saying.

I'm gonna guess arguments went something like this

Freud fled Vienna when World War II hit the fan, seeing as he was jewish, that was probably the best idea. Freud was a fan of cigars, its too bad that back then they didnt come with a warning label. Not long after leaving Vienna he was diagnosed with cancer of the mouth and jaw which he died of 20 years later.

Now that you know the man, you probably want to know what he is famous for, right.?

external image jk5vm_smiley-face.jpgConcious mind external image evil-smiley-face.jpgunconcious mind (id)

These guys don't look familiar, it should feel like looking in a mirror. The one on the left is you and the one on the right is everything you are secretly motivated to do, whether it be good or bad, at least according to Freud. The one on the right also houses all of your trauma, your need to get down and dirty(sex) and he also houses the "id". The id, again according to Freud is the part of your psyche that is hidden in your unconcious mind that takes care of needs immediately, without a care for the consequences. It's basically you without rules or a conscience to wrap them in, believe me that is a bad thing.
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see what happens when you go out of control..Isn't it scary?

Thankfully, somewhere in our first year of life, "id" becomes "I" and our "id's" become part of our ego's. Our ego's are seperate from our "id" because they function with rationality rather than impulse. We could all end up looking like Cartmen if we were so self centered. Remember that Freud is not directly responsible for the research into the conscious and unconscious mind, he merely furthered previous research and made it more popular to the public.

Though his research into this subject is what made him well known, Freud is responsible for many other discoveries into the human mind.

Freud helped discover that man has instinctual perspectives of both life and death. One of lifes being to perpetuate (have kids) and one of deaths being the unconcious wish to die. He also had the nirvana instinct, the goal of which being to not exist.
He also helped further studies of anxiety and defense mechanisms of the human mind, such as denial.
whatever you say bro.
whatever you say bro.

He also worked with repression, isolation and displacement etc. All of it starts to run together at some point as defending yourself in different ways psychologically because of some fear or trauma that a certain person may have with a certain person or thing.
After all of this, what really makes you remember Freud and the interesting thing about him is his sexual inuendo. Yes his theories about sex and how they factor into the concious and unconcious mind. For example, Freud loved cigars, however, Freud related dreaming of cigars to a certain male appendage. He thought it was a penis (we're not five here, come on.). This type of rationale comes up multiple time in Freuds studies.His studies into dreams, led to the conclusion that, in our dreams we express our unconscious urges and impulses through imagery and events. The next time you shoot someone in a dream, think about what that might mean, just for a second...its pretty gross right.

Freud even devised stages of sexual motivation. Fred believed that sex was the strongest motivational force for humans.
The oral stage lasts from birth to about 18 months. The focus of pleasure is, of course, the mouth. Sucking and biting are favorite activities.
The anal stage lasts from about 18 months to three or four years old. The focus of pleasure is the anus. Holding it in and letting it go are greatly enjoyed.
The phallic stage lasts from three or four to five, six, or seven years old. The focus of pleasure is the genitalia. Masturbation is common.
The latent stage lasts from five, six, or seven to puberty, that is, somewhere around 12 years old. During this stage, Freud believed that the sexual impulse was suppressed in the service of learning. I must note that, while most children seem to be fairly calm, sexually, during their grammar school years, perhaps up to a quarter of them are quite busy masturbating and playing "doctor." In Freud's repressive era, these children were, at least, quieter than their modern counterparts.
The genital stage begins at puberty, and represents the resurgence of the sex drive in adolescence, and the more specific focusing of pleasure in sexual intercourse. Freud felt that masturbation, oral sex, homosexuality, and many other things we find acceptable in adulthood today, were immature.
This is a true stage theory, meaning that Freudians believe that we all go through these stages, in this order, and pretty close to these ages.

He worked with personalities, he even helped revolutionize the way we recieve therapy. That calm, accepting, free atmosphere in which someone in a big leather chair asks you about your mother and won't quit until you finally talk about it and how she left you alone at camp for a day when you were six, was brought about with the help of Freud.

As you have read by now, Freud was a strange but brilliant man. Even as I write this, someone is probably sleeping right now dreaming of something Freud would relate to genitalia in some way. These statements, though they sound ridiculous now have opened the door to psychoanalysis and in doing so helped revolutionize psychology. That is why Freud is and shall forever be the father of psychoanalysis.

Boeree, George C. "Sigmund Freud." Web. 4 Mar 2010. <>.
"denial, evil, inoccent smiley faces, darth vader, crazy smiley face, "I do what I want", Hypnotism, Sigmund Freud." google images. Web. 4 Mar 2010. <>.

Self Assessment:
I believe I deserve a 4.5 out of 5. I contributed alot of information about Freud, his ideas, his concepts and his beliefs. I worked pretty hard to try and make the transition from a text books language into something not totally informal but entertaining and memorable. I believe that information about Freuds life and his studies is invaluable in understanding his ideas into the concious and unconscious mind.