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Sigmund Freud - The Sole Scientist if the Field of Psychology

Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud - The Sole Scientist in the Field of Psychology

This is the 150th Birth Anniversary year of Sigmund Freud. He was the first and sole scientist in the field of psychology. After him many psychiatrists and psychoanalysts have come. But none could get entry to the Hall of Fame of Scientists. In the field of physics there are world famous scientists like Sir Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and some more. Likewise, in other branches of knowledge and sciences too there is no dearth of great names. In the science of human mind there is Sigmund Freud and none else. Mankind is immensely indebted to Alexander Fleming for inventing penicillin, the wonder drug for treating bacterial infections. For a diseased mind there is Sigmund Freud and mankind is much more indebted to him. It is a different matter that mankind has either understood him very little or completely misunderstood him.

The common opinions about Sigmund Freud and his contributions to the science of psychology can be summed up in one word – sex. There can not be a more erroneous idea. Definitely, Sigmund Freud’s contributions in understanding sex and sexual relationship are path breaking. In the process he freed humanity from guilt complex. If not for anything else, simply for this mankind should be grateful to him. But Freud’s researches go much broader and deeper. He explored the dark and grey areas of human mind. Ironically he never had an inkling of an idea that he would one day enter the field in which he became an undisputed master.

Sigmund Freud was a medical graduate and a practicing doctor. His specialization was not psychiatry at that time. A particular case of his friend and mentor created interest in psychoanalysis in him. However, that is immaterial here. His first finding was about male hysteria. The egoistic male thought that hysteria is a mental disease of women exclusively. Even great doctors were no exception. The very name ‘hysteria’ has its origin in the Greek word ‘uster’ meaning the womb. The doctors thought that the changes in the positions of the womb made women emotionally unstable and extreme conditions of emotional disturbance and loss of emotional equilibrium is a result of that. But Sigmund Freud found some thing new and shocking. He found out that hysteria is a mental condition of not only women but also men. His association with Dr. Charcot, a famous French physician in Paris, confirmed his findings about male hysteria. When he presented his paper on male hysteria in Vienna, the then medical capital of Europe, the entire medical community rejected it. Now even a school boy knows they were wrong.

Sigmund Freud could delve deep into the human mind by hypnotizing his patients. Human mind can be divided into two parts: the ‘conscious’ and the ‘subconscious’. If the subconscious mind can be compared to a dark cave full of secrets, the conscious mind is like the entrance of the cave, a miniscule portion of the cave. Man himself is not aware of the secrets of his subconscious mind. By hypnotism, Sigmund Freud could bring out, through the words of the patients themselves, the problems lurking over there which make them behave in abnormal ways.

Like a true scientist, Sigmund Freud was truly objective. He took down his observations while treating his patients very meticulously and studied those deeply and brought out epoch making works on psychology. Though he showed humanity that sex is a very natural biological impulse that can come between two opposite sexual beings irrespective of their social relationship, (remember Oedipus Complex?), he never meant to be licentious in sexual behaviour. He lived for more than ninety years and remained loyal to his wife throughout his life time. Freudian theory of sex never justifies debauchery.

Sigmund Freud was the first man who tried to and did give a scientific foundation to the study of human mind. And his works are to be studied, as one studies any branch of science, objectively and with a scientific mind. That is the tribute we can pay to Sigmund Freud in his 150th Birth Anniversary.

Published: 2006-05-27
Author: Narayanasamy Srinivasan

About the author or the publisher
I am a 50 year old man. I completed my post graduate course in English language and literature in the year 1977. I am also a qualified teacher. My fields of interest are classical literature in different languages, current affairs of the world and human psychology.

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