A Childhood Neurosis Story Review

I would like to see neuroses more closely by examining Freud’s case of neurosis, known as the werewolf case. This case belongs to an 18-year-old man with gonorrhea. He was diagnosed with manic-depressive disorder. It has been 15 years since the patient’s childhood neurosis. This shows that childhood neuroses are useful for understanding adult neuroses, just as childhood dreams work in adult analysis. The patient’s parents are a happy couple who got married at a young age. Over time, his mother fell ill with uterine disease, and as a result, he moved away from home due to his father’s mental health problems. He also has a sister who is two years older than him. The patient was raised by an elderly and commoner woman, not his mother, who could not take care of him because of her health problems. In a repressed and later recollection of the patient, the patient is looking at the back of a car with his caregiver, where his parents and siblings are driving. Initially a very calm child, the patient became moody and angry after his parents returned from a trip. Meanwhile, the sick family stays with the English governess and her family attributes this change to this. The patient first explains that he was afraid of the wolf picture he saw in a book and screamed. Meanwhile, the patient, who is a child, begins to fear many animals. For example, he remembers that he was afraid of insects but also tortured them. He states that he was religious for a while and kissed the sacred paintings in his room before going to sleep. According to Freud, it is possible to say that this patient suffers from an obsessive neurosis. At the beginning of his childhood, he thinks that he has a very good relationship with his father and that his father loves him very much. He tells that this relationship was damaged towards the end of his childhood. In this case, the character change in the child, the source of the phobias and the origin of obsessive religiosity were examined. The first suspicious event was the castration complex. When the British governess went out into the street, look behind me and look at my tail! was to say. When the childhood period is examined, it is seen that there is a seduction and neurotic symptoms lasting from 3 years, 3 months to 4 years. This distinction was made with a dream, not a trauma. (Freud, 1918)

In this dream, the patient expressed that he was looking at the window at the foot of his bed, that the window was open and that there were white worms on the tree he saw from the window. He said it was the first anxiety dream he had ever had. The fact that the wolves were white reminded the patient of the farm where the sheep he went with his father. His fear of his father was the main cause of his illness, and in this first dream analysis it was learned that the wolf had taken his father’s place. The patient’s phobia was one and a half years old when he saw his parents in sexual intercourse. Anxiety meant that he refused to be satisfied by his father. The wolf eating him was having sexual intercourse with his father. His desire to be in a passive position was suppressed by his father and was replaced by a wolf phobia. It was observed that the child’s narcissistic sexual libido was the driving force of repression. (Freud, 1918)

According to the approach seen in this case, it is argued that childhood memories are not a reproduction of symptoms in adulthood, but consist of fantasies that owe their source to a regression from childhood, by analyzing neuroses in depth. As neurotic people tend to cling to regressive fantasies, they should be treated by keeping them out of the way and bringing these unconscious formations into consciousness. (Freud, 1918)

In the analysis, such a path should be followed as those believed to be true of childhood fantasies. Their difference will only be revealed at the end of the analysis. At this stage, after these are examined, the patient should be told that these are fantasy products by making them forget their duties and responsibilities in real life, and the connection between these tasks and fantasies should be examined. This way the treatment will become useful in real life. When these fantasies occur, if the patient’s attention is diverted without further investigation, this neurotic mechanism of the patient will be supported. Therefore, memories of childhood should be looked at and examined from this perspective. These memories may not always reflect the truth, they are often distorted. In dreams, especially if it is replaced by these scenes, if the same scenes are returned in the analysis, the dream should be taken and examined as a memory. (Freud, 1918)

It was proved by Sigmund Freud that what happened with this case at the age of four or five alone could produce neurosis. In this case, the primal scene includes a sexual intercourse. Whether real or fantasy, the sexual scene of their parents is not uncommon in analyzes of neurotics. As we reach the end of the analysis, previously unspoken memories may emerge. According to this case, the first scene that Freud remembered without his intervention caused Freud to think that the treatment was over. Because from now on, the resistance mentioned earlier has disappeared.

If we consider phobias by looking at this case, it is possible to say that the phobia is caused by a genital effect. The person tries to protect himself from something he sees as a threat by developing a self-anxiety. However, since the suppression process leaves a trace, it appears as a symptom. Since the object to which the sexual target, perceived as a danger, is directed, must be represented by something else in the consciousness, it turns into another object with displacement and becomes a phobia. In this case, it was examined that the fear of the father became conscious as wolf phobia. With the conclusion drawn from this case, it was said by Sigmund Freud that castration anxiety is the anxiety that causes phobias. (Freud, 1918)

The aim of psychoanalytic therapy is not rapid change or normalization, but rather to neutralize obstacles and enable positive developments in life. (Freud, 1918)

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