Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), commonly referred to as "the father of psychoanalysis" was an Austrian neurologist and is generally recognized as one of the most influential and authoritative thinkers of the twentieth century. He remains a well-recognised figure and he and his ideas are still frequently referenced in pop culture. Freud has been influential in two related but distinct ways. He simultaneously developed a theory of the human mind and human behaviour, as well as clinical techniques for attempting to help neurotics. He popularised the ideas of the unconscious, defense mechanisms, Freudian slips and dream symbolism, while also making a long-lasting impact on fields as diverse as literature, film, Marxist and feminist theories, literary criticism, philosophy and psychology.
Freud's beliefs were problematicShow moreShow less
A lot of his beliefs and behaviour are considered problematic today.
Sigmund was a troubled soul himself. Letters suggest his sister in law was his mistress for many years and he had also had an affair with a male friend. In his 40s, Freud "had numerous psychosomatic disorders as well as exaggerated fears of dying and other phobias."
He was an avid drug user and cocaine addict. He was a lifelong smoker and refused to stop despite losing part of his jaw due to relentless malignancy. He had more than 30 surgeries and requested and received euthanasia from his physician.