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 Sigmund Freud

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Sigmund Freud

  • Birth 6 May 1856 Moravskoslezsky (Moravian-Silesian), Czech Republic
  • Death 23 Sep 1939 Hampstead, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, England
  • Burial Golders Green, London Borough of Barnet, Greater London, England
  • Plot Ashes in urn in East columbarium
  • Memorial ID 1377

Medical Pioneer. Noted neurologist, neuropathologist, and the father of Psychoanalysis. He was born in the Moravian city of Freiberg. While growing up, his family didn't have a lot of money and lived in a crowded apartment, though they did all they could to nurture his intelligence, which was apparent from a very young age. Their support of his learning and schooling paid off, as he was ranked first in his class and at the age of seventeen was able to go to the University of Vienna. He attended the University of Vienna from 1873 till 1881, even though there was a lot of anti-Semitism in Austria at this time, and it was difficult for Jewish students to be allowed to attend prestigious schools. Because he destroyed his personal papers twice in his life, once in 1885 and again in 1907, little is known about his life in the first years after his graduation. In 1886 he opened a private practice in Vienna, specializing in brain and nervous disorders. Though he is primarily remembered as a psychiatrist, his original focus was neurology, and he was one of the earliest researchers of cerebral palsy, which was known as "cerebral paralysis" at the time. Freud was studying the disease long before most researchers had begun to take notice of it, and went against the findings of William Little, the man who had first identified cerebral palsy. According to Little, it was caused by a lack of oxygen during birth, but Freud believed that perinatal complications were only a symptom. Freud's findings were eventually confirmed during the 1980s. During this time he also experimented with hypnosis on his worst cases, but found that he got better results when he put his patients on a couch and got them to tell him whatever was on their minds, a technique that would come to be known as free association. Another important aspect of his work during this time was his belief that cocaine made a good antidepressant, anesthetic, and a cure for nasal reflex neurosis, along with many other disorders. He wrote a paper entitled 'On Coca,' extolling what he saw as the virtues of cocaine. The paper was very well-received. However, his reputation was later somewhat tarnished by this enthusiasm when many reports of cocaine addiction and overdose began surfacing all over the world. In addition to exploring the subconscious minds of his patients, Freud also began to explore his own subconscious mind. He suffered from a number of psychosomatic disorders and phobias, and began to analyze his dreams, memories, and his personality development. As he was conducting this self-analysis, he realized that he had a great deal of anger and hostility towards his father, and that he had had sexual feelings for his mother. These realizations formed the basis of his theories on psychosexual development, most notably the Oedipus Complex. In 1900 and 1901 he published a few books on the unconscious mind, though they didn't sell very well. His fortune began to improve not long afterwards, however, when he was given a professorship at the University of Vienna. Though many people began paying attention to his theories and became loyal followers, not everyone agreed with his teachings, and he tried to expel those colleagues who disagreed with his findings or with certain aspects of them. In addition to his theory of psychosexual development and his groundbreaking research on cerebral palsy and psychoanalysis, other important aspects of his work include his theories of defense mechanisms (among them denial, displacement, sublimation, and projection), life and death instincts, totemism, and his belief that the psyche was divided into three parts, the id, the ego, and the superego. After the Nazi Anschluss of Austria in March of 1938, Freud, his wife Martha Bernays, and their six children escaped Austria with the financial help of Princess Marie Bonaparte, a friend and patient of his. Before leaving, however, Freud was made to sign a statement that said the Nazis had treated him respectfully. In June they were allowed to enter France, and soon after they made their way to London. He died in September of 1939 of cancer of the mouth, which he had contracted in 1923 due to his lifelong addiction to cigar-smoking. Though he had had his jaw removed and had undergone more than thirty operations, he continued to smoke, and finally could no longer endure the pain of his cancer. His private physician came to his London home to give him a morphine overdose.

Bio by: Carrie-Anne


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 1377
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Sigmund Freud (6 May 1856–23 Sep 1939), Find A Grave Memorial no. 1377, citing Golders Green Crematorium, Golders Green, London Borough of Barnet, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .