Sigmund Freud and cocaine
[Article in German]
Lebzeltern G Wien Klin Wochenschr 1983 Nov 11; 95(21):765-9


The basic tenet proposed by J. V. Scheidt states that the narcotic drug, cocaine played a role in the development of psychoanalysis which has been underestimated up to the present day. It is a fact that Freud himself took cocaine (in small doses) for about two years, and that he began his dream interpretation approximately ten years later. Scheidt believes that a long, unconscious conflict related to the cocaine-induced states of euphoria (ten years later) suddenly led to the beginnings of dream interpretation. The question to be answered now is: Why did this happen precisely in 1895? The foundations of psychoanalysis had already been laid, the application of the new method to the treatment of nervous disorders (heart complaints, train phobias, etc.) was certainly obvious. During this self-analysis it became necessary, first of all, to come to terms with the self-reproaches-which lay on the surface and were more accessible to consciousness-related to Freud's cocaine period (Fleischl-Marxow becomes addicted to cocaine, the most terrible night ever experienced, death of this friend, Freud's warning came too late). It was only when Freud has come to terms with this phase of his life that the road to the deepest part, the discovery of the Oedipus complex in the fall of 1897, was cleared.

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