Posts Tagged Under: Hysteria

Sigmund Freud Biograghy

Who is Sigmund Freud?

Sigmund Freud, the father of Psychoanalysis, was born on May 6, 1856 in a middle class family in Freiburg (Moravia). When Freud was 4 years old his family moved to Víena.

In 1865 Freud began his secondary studies, which curiously began a year earlier than it was the usual age at that time, and ended with an excellent rating (Summa Cum Laude). Then he began Medicine at the University of Víena.

Already as a student, Sigmund Freud entered the physiological laboratory of Bruecke where he began his research career, centered in those early years in Neurology. Parallely Freud began their publications.

In 1984, Sigmund Freud investigated the anesthetic properties of the cocaine, substance that at that time in Europe was little known. At the same time his friend Carl Koller demonstrated the anesthetic properties of cocaine in Ophthalmology.
Shortly after (1984) Freud entered like professor in University of Víena.
In 1885 he received a scholarship to go to Paris to study with the famous Jean Martin Charcot at the “Hospital de la Salpêtrière“. At that time this French doctor studied the possibilities of hypnosis as a treatment of Hysteria.

After returning from France, Sigmund Freud marched to the Kassowitz Institute in Berlin where he studied the cerebral palsies of children.

Later on, in 1989, Sigmund Freud traveled to Nancy (France) to see how Liébault M.D. and Bernheim M.D. used hypnotic suggestion as a therapeutic technique, not only for Hysteria but also for other neurotic disorders.

His biographer Ernest Jones tells us that Sigmund Freud was a family man, a lover of his profession and a tireless worker.
Freud was a very cultured man who spoke French and English perfectly, as well as Spanish,  which he had learned reading “Don Quixote” in the language of Cervantes. During his youth he also translated several works by Charcot and Bernheim into German.
Sigmund Freud was a great lover of the work of Goethe and Shakespeare, as well as the Greco-Roman culture.

When he reached fame and glory, he was diagnosed with cancer of the jaw and palate against which he fought for 16 years, in the course of which Dr. Pichler performed a total of thirty-three operations under local anesthesia, in addition to radiation. The last ones were so bloody that he agreed, at the insistence of hes doctor, to administer an analgesic called Novocaine. He had previously refused to take painkillers, despite the intense pains he suffered. One of those operations was so drastic that the nasal cavity was communicated with his mouth, so he had to use a jaw and palate prosthesis.
Ernest Jones says in his biography that “he was a perfect patient … Whatever the degree of suffering, there was never a hint of irritability or annoyance in him“.

The University of Clark in the United States invited Sigmund Freud to give a series of lectures and there he was awarded “Doctor Honoris Causa”. Freud’s work was already well known in America, that’s

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Mental Illness and Possession

Did you know that…..

for many cultures “Possession” by the evil is often the explanation of mental illness for the symptoms of hysterical nature ?

Culturas primitivas

In those cultures the insanity is viewed as an indication of “bewitchment“, and the possessed person may be cruelly punished to protect the community from the evil within him.


(Edited by María Moya Guirao, M.D.)

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Breuer and Sigmund Freud

Did you know that…..

In 1893 Breuer and Sigmund Freud published their experiences in the treatment of Hysteria in a communication entitled “The Psychic Mechanism of Hysterical Phenomena“, and later in 1895 “Studies of Hysteria” ?

The principal contributions were :

  • They, instead of hypnotizing a patient and then making direct suggestions of cure, encouraged the patient to talk while under hypnosis. The patient recalled and expressed important events connected with his emotional live. This method is called by them “mental catharsis“. This talking out under hypnosis was laden with emotional charge. The discharge of the repressed emotion into verbal emotive expression was called “abreaction“.
  • They, studying Hysteria, established the relationship between neurotic symptoms and childhood experiences.
  • They discovered that symptoms have “meaning“.
  • They claim that “communication” is the therapeutic operative force.


(Edited by María Moya Guirao, M.D.)

"Retrato de Josef Breuer"

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Childhood and Psychoanalysis (English)

Did you know that…..

Attention to individual’s development during childhood and mental illness first come from psychoanalysis ?

Freud and Breuer, studying hysteria, established the relationship between neurotic symptoms and childhood experiences. Sigmund Freud discovered childhood symptoms in the past live of his adult patients.


(Editado por la Dra. Moya Guirao)


Sigmund Freud

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Hysteria’s Meaning

Did you know that…..

The word “hysteria” means “wandering of uterus” and was used by ancient Greeks ?

Hysteria come from “hystero” which was translated to “uterus”  in Latin.



(Edited by María Moya Guirao, M.D.)

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Hysteria and The Middle Ages

Did you know that….

during the Middle Ages the Hysteria were relied upon as a method of ascertaining possession by the evil ?

The belief of the demoniacal origin of hysteria dominated medieval Europe and took many “witches” to trials and death.



(Edited by María Moya Guirao, M.D.)

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Pychoanalytic Therapy

The psychoanalytic therapy was derived from the treatment of hysterical patients with hypnosis. Freud first became interested in this method under the influence of his friend Josef Breuer.
The discovering of free association may well be considered the beginning of analytic therapy when Freud used it with Elisabeth Von R., who was refractory to hypnosis.
In the “Studies of Hysteria“. published with Josef Breuer, Sigmund Freud described the cornerstone of the psychoanalytic theory : resistance, transference, repression, and defence mechanisms.
(Edited by María Moya Guirao, M.D.)

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Jean M. Charcot

Who is Charcot ?

Charcot was outstanding french neurologist who developed a system of hypnosis as treatment of hysteria. He was also Freud master.

Jean M. Charcot demonstrated the traumatic power of emotional disturbance in provoking the manifestations of the disease and managed the elimination of the hysteric symptoms through suggestion and hypnosis.


(Edited by María Moya Guirao, M.D.)

"Retrato de Charcot"

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