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Sigmund Freud (06.05.1856 - 23.09.1939) - Austrian psychologist

Sigmund Freud was a well-known Austrian psychologist and the founder of modern psychoanalysis. Freud wrote and published a great number of scientific works during his life. He gained the title of Doctor of Medicine, Honorary Doctor of Law, a member of London Royal Society, etc. Freud was born on May 6th, 1856, in a small Moravian town, in the family of wool merchant. The wide-spread anti-Semitic flow had forced them to leave Austria-Hungary and more to Vienna. As a child Sigismund was highly interested in natural science. He studied in one of the best gymnasiums and used to be a talented student.

At the age of seventeen he entered the Vienna University, where he devotedly studied applied biology. Under the direction of the headmaster of Psychology Institute he was engaged in research of the brain of animals and human embryos. At that period he made several important observations which became the foundation of his future neural theory. The same year he became familiar with the story of Anna O., who was his close friends patient. After that he stopped studying anatomy and began doing researches in the field of psychology. The medical story of this patient had a great influence on further works of the psychologist. After the loss of her father she had numerous symptoms of typical hysteria.

Hypnosis was the main method of her treatment. Consequently, Sigmund decided to practice medicine at the Vienna City Hospital, where he thoroughly studied neurology. In 1885, he went on an internship to Paris and was fascinated by the French school of neuropathology. During the internship he learnt how to explain and treat hysteria from the psychological point of view. He also became interested in the relationship between hysteria and sexuality. He had noticed that neurasthenia leads to natural sexuality. After returning to Vienna he decided to give up hypnosis and to try other methods of neuroses treatment, including the cathartic method which gave positive results.

After several years of using this method he made many fundamental discoveries. Most importantly he developed the theory of human psyche, which was formed of conscious, subconscious and unconscious. According to this theory, the latter is the deepest layer, which determines the whole life of a man. In 1900, he published the book under the title The Interpretation of Dreams, which is now widely used. Freud devoted several works to psychological studies. During the last ten years of his life the scientist analyzed and summarized his ideas about human psyche. In 1938, he was imprisoned by the Jewish ghetto in Vienna. Thanks to huge international recognition and high ransom he was released and allowed to settle in England, where he died of larynx cancer in 1939.



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