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Unformatted text preview: f agents, from prayer and persuasion to a bitter tonic or a blow. I confess to a weird
feeling in the presence of a hysteric whose arm can be thrust through and through with a needle without
apparently suffering any pain, and it seems to me that this may be the explanation of the fortitude of those
martyrs who have astonished and sometimes converted their persecutors by their sublime resistance to torture.
There has been described as part of hysteria the hysteric temperament. The characteristics of this temperament
are the emotional instability, the strong desire for sympathy, the effort to obtain one's desire through
weakness, through the appeal to the sympathy of others, an irritable egoism never satisfied and without firm
purpose. It is true that the majority of peace-time hysterics show this peculiar temperament, but it is also true
that the war-time hysterics often enough were of "normal" character, without prior evidence of weakness.
As I before mentioned, Freud became greatly interested in this group of patients and especially in the female
patients, since in ordinary neurological practice the male hysteric is not common. Out of his experience and
effort he built up a system of beliefs and treatment, the evolution of which is interesting, but which is not here
At the present time the Freudian doctrine hangs on the following beliefs:
1. That from the beginning to the end of life everything in the mental activities of man has a cause and a
meaning, and that these causes and meanings may be traced back to infancy. No slip of the tongue is
accidental; it has purpose and this purpose can be traced by psychoanalysis. So with hysteric phenomena: the
paralyses, the sensory changes, all the queer and startling things represent something of importance and of
value to the subconscious.
2. There is in man a subconscious mentality, having wills, purposes, strivings, desires, passions. These trends
are the raw, native, uninhibited desires of man; they are our lusts, our crude unsocialized desires, arising...
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 110 taught by Professor Kannan during the Spring '11 term at Anna University Chennai - Regional Office, Coimbatore.
- Spring '11