Sigmund Freud

People are like an iceberg of which only the tip can be seen. Everything that is underwater is our subconscious, a lot of desires and traumas that we repress but that are what shape our dreams. The man who envisioned this widely accepted theory was Sigmund Freud , the so-called father of psychoanalysis, a neurologist who was born on a day like today 160 years ago and changed our way of thinking with concepts such as narcissism, the death drive, or the Oedipus complex. He was one of the most controversial and influential figures of the 20th century.

Biography of Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud was born in 1856 in a city in the Czech Republic into a Jewish family with great economic difficulties, which did not prevent him from entering the University of Vienna, a city where he reached the age of three and spent most of his life. lifetime. After graduating as a doctor in 1881, he focused on the investigation of the anesthetic properties of cocaine, which caused his first controversy, since according to some correspondence it caused the addiction of a friend whom he wanted to cure (and even his own. ).


After marrying Martha Bernays , the love of his life, Sigmund Freud set up a private clinic in 1886 where he applied hypnosis in the treatment of hysteria that he had studied in Paris and incorporated the cathartic method of his mentor Josef Breuer. But little by little he abandoned it and replaced it with free association and the interpretation of dreams, the germ of a new way of understanding man: psychoanalysis .

Sigmund Freud ‘s Work

The Interpretation of Dreams , published in 1899, is Sigmund Freud’s most important and well-known work . In it, the foundations of psychoanalysis are laid, a therapeutic method to which little by little more followers were added, despite the suspicion that it aroused in a part of the scientific community, who considered him a kind of philosopher who rethinked human nature and helped to break down taboos, especially sexual ones , but never a doctor. His goal was to move all those repressed thoughts, feelings and desires from the subconscious (what is under the water) to the conscious (the tip of the iceberg).

Without him, the work of artists such as André Bretón or Dalí and filmmakers such as Buñuel or Hitchcock could not be understood

Aside from his revolutionary concepts of the unconscious, unconscious desire, and repression, Sigmund Freud divided the mind into three parts: the id, the self, and the superego . He also defined Eros or life drive and Thanatos or death drive. And he developed a psychosexual method that – despite being criticized for relating sexuality to concepts such as incest, perversion and mental disorders – incorporated theories such as the Oedipus complex and broke taboos in a society that is still sick and repressed.

Despite being questioned by some colleagues, the influence of Sigmund Freud on the philosophy, politics, language and art of the twentieth century is unquestionable. Without him, the work of artists such as André Bretón or Dalí and filmmakers such as Buñuel, Hitchcock or Woody Allen could not be understood , who with their cinema has shaped the image we have of psychoanalysis: a man telling his life to his therapist from the comfort of a divan.

Sigmund Freud ‘s Personality

Sigmund Freud was controversial until the last day of his life. In 1938 he was declared an enemy of the Third Reich and had to flee to London . His books were publicly burned and his sisters (he was five) perished in concentration camps. He died a year later from cancer of the palate caused by his fondness for tobacco. His doctor gave him three doses of morphine and he plunged, forever, into the sea of ​​his subconscious. A small crater on the moon is named after him.

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