Freud and Neuroses

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According to Erich Fromm (1944) the field of psychoanalysis transcending the confines off "medical specialty" was largely due to the contributions of Sigmund Freud (1856 - 1939). This short essay shall discuss Freudian theory related to his concept of neurosis, the structuring of neurosis, its relation to repression and the process through which neurosis derives into phobias or hysteria.


According to psychodynamic theory, neurosis, are the manifestations of one's attempts to ignore unconscious conflicts (Ricker 2006). Prior to Freud doctors and analysts believed that neuroses - metal disorders like depression, excessive anxiety were due to heredity. However, detailed investigations led Freud to believe that it was the malfunction of sexual instincts of childhood or adulthood that was at the bottom of neuroses, "there are grounds for regarding the neurosis as an acquired one, careful enquiry directed to that end reveals that a set of noxae and influences from sexual life are the operative aetiological factors" (Standard Edition, 1905 3: 99). Though some causes like emotional imbalances, physical tiredness, and stressful mishaps, other acute illnesses were more prominent, they were only secondary reasons for neurosis. According to Fine (1962) "Freud's thought in the 1890's centers around one major clinical observation: Neurosis involves a defense against unbearable ideas." (p.12)
Using the concept of inner conflict, which is central to all psychoanalysis, Freud observed two distinct processes, the dominant one that propelled towards immediate release, and the other secondary one that tried to keep things under check and control; these he later named as 'ego and id' (Fine, 1962:13). ...
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