Living on a Paranoid Planet

Sigmund Freud's first patient was called Anna O. (not her real name, to protect her anonymity). When Freud and his mentor Joseph Breuer first encountered young Anna, she was traumatically affected by the traditional family duty of caring for her dying father, who passed away before she asked for help. Her condition could be called obsessive hypochondria, and given her traumatic time nursing a dying father, I have to feel a lot of sympathy for her. Anna believed she had a variety of illnesses, with symptoms that changed from day to day. There is no doubt that she was sincere, and in the medical thinking of the time, it seemed that she was suffering from deep autosuggestion, a kind of fast-changing self-hypnosis. Freud and Breuer therefore tried to hypnotize her with suggestions to contradict her fixed beliefs about one illness after another. After decades of watching propaganda scare bombs in the mass media, aided by worried kindergarten teachers and parents who get...(Read Full Article)

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