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Sigmund Freud and His Systematic Investigation on Trauma

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When talking about trauma theory, it is necessary to look back at the theories that have been proposed by Sigmund Freud and his systematic investigation on trauma which dates to the end of the nineteenth century. This throwback is important because Freud was the one who laid the ground stone to the field of trauma studies

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) linked hysteria with sexual trauma and the trauma which had been disjoined from consciousness. Throughout his clinical experience, Freud made a univocal statement (1896) that the first clues of the presence of hysteria were grounded in a very early sexual intercourse or in the years of immature. These sexual intercourses could be the stimulation of genitals and acute acts.

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During his exhausting study Freud talked about the way victim talked about the event. He noticed that during the oral communication almost nobody of the victims showed a desire or the need to talk, he noticed was the pain and no quality life as well. There was a notion that all the victims had a recollection of the traumatic event and this recollection was accompanied with unpleasant emotion, jactitation, and embarrassment. They were all able to relive the exact emotions which they felt when the misfortune had happened. Freud contemplated that, at that peculiar moment, the mind is in the state of change of consciousness. This state is called the hypnoid state, in an everyday context that state is characterized by ‘unreal’, ’suppressed’ or ‘unconscious’ sectors.

In order to deal with the misfortune and the feeling it is being accompanied with, Freud noticed that brain is creating a kind of shield. This shield is meant to protect nerves from repeating victim’s feelings. The strength of the shield immediately affects the seriousness of the illness.

Freud had to redefine his theory that on the ground of women’s hysteria lays the psychological trauma. The reason for this was a great number of soldiers who, after the World War 2, suffered from war neurosis. Hence, he started describing the trauma as the sequence of events that are accompanied by forceful prevention and finally its return.

The general idea of war trauma derived from the specific instances which occurred to survivors. The indication that trauma is present could be seen in a different signs manifested through lack of sleep accompanied by nightmares and/or daydreams, flashbacks, lack of words and inability to talk about the traumatic event. Therefore, PTSD has been accepted an official diagnosis which appeared to be relevant for many war veterans.


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