Sigmund Freud was born on May 6, 1856. Sigmund Freud was an Austrian neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis. A clinical method for treating psychopathology through dialogue between a patient and a psychoanalyst. His theories are based on certain topics like child sexuality, eroticism and among other topics. Sigmund Freud concepts were famous in early 20th century.

Early Life and Education:

At the age of 4, Freud's family moved to Vienna, the town where he and his family would live and work for his life. He was awarded medical degree in 1881.Freud made a research on the topic neurobiology, the study of brains and nervous disorder of humans and animals.

Wife and Kids:

In 1882, Martha Bernays was married to Freud. The couple had six children and one among them was Anna Freud who was a psychoanalyst.

Early Career:

After his graduation, Freud setup a private treatment for psychological disorders. As a therapist he endured to understand the human behavior. Early in his career, Freud was influenced by his colleague; Freud was aided about the earliest occurrences of the symptoms.   
After much work together his colleague Breuer ends his relationship with Freud, feeling that Freud was fully stressed on patient’s neuroses and was not able to consider to other viewpoints. Freud started to continue on his own debate.

The Unconscious:

The interpretation of dreams - a powerful early work of FreudPerhaps the most significant contribution Freud has made to modern thought is his conception of the unconscious. During the 19th century the dominant trend in Western thought was positivism, the claim that people could accumulate real knowledge about themselves and their world, and exercise rational control over both. Freud, however, suggested that these claims were in fact delusions; that we are not entirely aware of what we even think, and often act for reasons that have nothing to do with our conscious thoughts. The concept of the unconscious was groundbreaking in that he proposed that awareness existed in layers and there were thoughts occurring "below the surface." Dreams, called the "royal road to the unconscious", provided the best examples of our unconscious life, and in The Interpretation of Dreams Freud both developed the argument that the unconscious exists, and described a method for gaining access to it. The Preconscious was described as a layer between conscious and unconscious thought—that which we could access with a little effort.

Crucial to the operation of the unconscious is "repression." According to Freud, people often experience thoughts and feelings that are so painful that people cannot bear them. Such thoughts and feelings—and associated memories—could not, Freud argued, be banished from the mind, but could be banished from consciousness. Thus they come to constitute the unconscious. Although Freud later attempted to find patterns of repression among his patients in order to derive a general model of the mind, he also observed that individual patients repress different things. Moreover, Freud observed that the process of repression is itself a non-conscious act (in other words, it did not occur through people willing away certain thoughts or feelings). Freud supposed that what people repressed was in part determined by their unconscious. In other words, the unconscious was for Freud both a cause and effect of repression.

Psychosexual Development:

Freud also believed that the libido developed in individuals by changing its object. He argued that humans are born "polymorphously perverse," meaning that any number of objects could be a source of pleasure. He further argued that, as humans developed, they fixated on different and specific objects through their stages of development—first in the oral stage (exemplified by an infant's pleasure in nursing), then in the anal stage (exemplified by a toddler's pleasure in controlling his or her bowels), then in the phallic stage. Freud argued that children then passed through a stage where they fixated on the parent of the opposite sex and thought the same-sexed parent a rival. Freud named his new theory the Oedipus Complex after the famous Greek tragedy by Sophocles.“I found in myself a constant love for my mother, and jealousy of my father. I now consider this to be a universal event in childhood,” Freud said. Freud sought to anchor this pattern of development in the dynamics of the mind. Each stage is a progression into adult sexual maturity, characterized by a strong ego and the ability to delay gratification. (see Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality.) It also seems that Freud believed that the manipulation of the genitals and the sexual desires are something that undermines the human as oneself. Surrendering to his sexual desires would mean the unconscious as the triumphant mind.

Freud hoped to prove that his model was universally valid. He thus turned to ancient mythology and contemporary ethnography for comparative material. Freud used the Greek tragedy by Sophocles Oedipus Rex to point out how much he believed that people (young boys in particular) desire incest, and must repress that desire. The Oedipus conflict was described as a state of psychosexual development and awareness. He also turned to anthropological studies of totemism and argued that totemism reflected a ritualized enactment of a tribal Oedipal conflict.

No discussion of Sigmund Freud is complete without some mention of his highly influential views on the role and psychology of women; views which many argue set the progress of women in Western culture back decades. Believing as he did that women were a kind of mutilated male, who must learn to accept her deformity (the lack of a penis) and submit to some imagined biological imperative, he contributed a great deal to the vocabulary of misogyny - terms such as penis envy, and castrating (both used to describe women who attempted to excel in any field outside the home) were being critizied that would discourage women from obtaining education or entering any field dominated by men, until the 1970s. Freud's views are still being questioned by people concerned about women's equality

Defense Mechanisms:

Sigmund and Anna Freud 1913 on a holiday in the DolomitsAccording to Freud, the defense mechanisms are the method by which the ego can solve the conflicts between the superego and the id. The use of the mechanisms required eros, and they are helpful if moderately used. The use of defense mechanisms, may attenuate the conflict between the id and superego, but their overuse or reuse rather than confrontation can lead to either anxiety or guilt which may result in psychological disorders such as depression. His daughter, Anna Freud, had done the most significant work on this field, yet credited Sigmund with Defense Mechanisms as he began the work. The defense mechanisms include, denial, reaction formation, displacement, repression/suppression (the proper term), projection, intellectualisation, rationalisation, compensation, sublimation and regressive emotionality.

  1. Denial means that someone will not (deliberately) admit to the truth. For example, a student may have received a bad grade on a report card but tells himself that grades don't matter.
  2. Repression occurs when someone cannot remember a past traumatic experience, while suppression is a conscious effort to do the same.
  3. Intellectualisation involves removing one's self, emotionally, from a stressful event. Intellectualisation is often accomplished through rationalisation rather than accepting reality, one may explain it away to remove one's self.
  4. Compensation occurs when someone takes up one behavior because one cannot accomplish another behavior. For example, the second born child may clown around to get attention since the older child is already an accomplished scholar.
  5. Sublimation is the channeling of impulses to socially accepted behaviours. For instance, the use of a dark, gloomy poem to describe life by such poets as Emily Dickinson.
  6. Reaction formation takes place when someone takes the opposite approach consciously compared to what he wants unconsciously. For example, someone may engage in violence against another race because, he claims, they are inferior, when unconsciously it is he himself who feels inferior.
  7. Sigmund Freud Theories:

    Josef Breuer, one of his colleague proposed a theory based on neuroses. Freud was inspired by him and followed his psychoanalytic theory which was in depth of origins that occurred an awful impact in patient's past. Freud believed that patient accuracies have been hidden from consciousness. So Freud treatment was to entrust and recall the patients experience more emotionally and physical so that the patient can get rid of neurotic symptoms.

    Freud theories includes:

    *ID, EGO AND SUPEREGO: Important and essential parts in human personality. The Id is the basic, violent and absurd unconscious which operates completely as an output of comfort and pain which is responsible for sex and aggression. Ego is "I" which receives from people and evaluates out as physical and social to make plans according to it. Ego is the guide to superego. Superego is the moral voice and a base for ego. Superego violates and regrets the feelings of anxiety .Freud believed in superego and it is influenced to other role models.

    *Psychic energy: Freud theorizes that Id is the source for psychic energy. Psychic energy drives all mental processes in human personality. He also believed in eroticism, a part of psychic energy which drives human actions.

    *Oedipus complex: At the age of five, Freud suggested development process as a normal growth in kids as they are sexually attracted towards parent of same sex. This theory is named as Oedipus complex.

    *Dream analysis: In his book The Interpretation of Dreams, Freud has explained to cope up with the problems that the mind is struggling with both consciously and subconsciously


    Freud has published a number of important works on psychoanalysis. Some of the most influential include:

    'Studies in Hysteria' (1895)

    'The Interpretation of Dreams' (1900)

    'The Psychopathology of Everyday Life' (1901)

    'Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality' (1905)


This is a partial list of patients whose case studies were published by Freud, with pseudonyms substituted for their names:

Anna O. = Bertha Pappenheim (1859 - 1936)
Cäcilie M. = Anna von Lieben
Dora = Ida Bauer (1882-1945)
Frau Emmy von N. = Fanny Moser
Fräulein Elizabeth von R.
Fräulein Katharina = Aurelia Kronich
Fräulein Lucy R.
Little Hans = Herbert Graf (1903-1973)
Rat Man = Ernst Lanzer (1878-1914)
Wolf Man = Sergius Pankejeff (1887-1979)

People on whom psychoanalytic observations were published but who were not patients

Daniel Paul Schreber (1842-1911)

Other patients

H.D. (1886-1961)
Emma Eckstein
Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)

Major Works:

  • The Interpretation of Dreams (1900)
  • The Psychopathology of Everyday Life (1901)
  • Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality, 1905
  • Totem and Taboo, 1913
  • On Narcissism, 1914
  • Beyond the Pleasure Principle, 1920
  • The Ego and the Id, 1923
  • The Future of an Illusion, 1927
  • Civilization and Its Discontents, 1929
  • Moses and Monotheism, 1939
  • Death:

    Freud died on September 23, 1939 at age of 83 by suicide in England. Since he had oral cancer he requested a lethal dose of morphine from his doctor.