Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on August 20, 1972 · Page 49
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 49

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, August 20, 1972
Page 49
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His Name Is Freud urrewt .A«! .-..--tvi«'i*.a Federal health officials estimate one out of 10 American^ have experienced "a serious emotional breakdown or felt themselves close to it." The weak, the wealthy, the poor, the powerful-all susceptible. How to help them has become a many sided squabble. All sides--even the ones who say he is dead--draw on the man who started the argument: Sismund Freud. By John Barbour SIGMUND FREUD LOOKS AT HIMSELF Sculptor 0. Neman With Bust August 20,1972 NEW YORK--(AP)--He invented the psychoanalyst, the man with the couch, the listener with a note pad, the detective of dreams, always out of sight of his reclining patient but never really out of mind. In this nervous world he created a new lexicon of the mind--id, ego, superego, pain-pleasure, transference, libido, oedipus complex, phallic symbol, the interpretation of dreams and slips of the tongue. Breakdowns--We're All Susceptible His name was Sigmund Freud, He probed deep into the hidden hearts and souls of his patients to uncover fear and tragedy, to help build reasonable defenses against them in the full light of consciousness. Reasonable defenses. The full light of consciousness. The U.S. Public Health .Service estimates that 20 million Americans--one out of every 10--have experienced "a serious emotional breakdown or felt themselves close to it." These quakings in the face of everyday adversity are not easily dismissed by the individual facing them. There are 25,000 psychiatrists in the United States. Not all of them treat patients. But if they did, and they treated six a day, that would mean that 150,000 Americans felt troubled enough to pay up to $100 per treatment for professional care that used to be dispensed by the pastor, the parent or the friend. FREUD DIED in 1939 in London at the age of 83, a refugee from Hitler's anschluss into Austria, the loser of a 16- year battle with cancer of the jaw. Despite 'the severity of the pain, to the end he refused all pain-killers save aspirin. Today, more than 23 years after his death, psychiatrists and laymen are asking the question, "Is Freud dead?" And oddly they answer their 'own question, "No. His ideas live. But they travel in many disguises." . -V In a world still trying to prove Einstein's theories of the universe, many scientists are still trying to disprove Freud's theories of the mind. Some 70 years after Freud published his first case histories his words and pictures adorn pop-art posters and sweatshirts, and he is still a topic of conversation. What would have happened if Freud had not lived? Said one psychiatrist' who uses Freud's techniques only sparingly, "If you were to remove this man from history it would have the same devastating effect as removing Thomas Edison." Others would not go so far. One says, "If there hadn't been a Freud, there would have to be a Freud." Another: "The cultural changes would have come anyway. With or without Freud we would probably have had pornography, incest, the oedipus complex. He did not create them." Almost all--enemies and disciples alike--acknowledge psychiatry's debt to the goateed, white-haired wizard who first made sense out of the tangle of human emotions. At the very least he systematized the way we look at the mind. His prime argument was that we live with a dynamic unconscious, and that it is a major force in our behavior, and when we become emotionally ill, a major force in our illness. SOME ESSENTIALS in Freudian theory: *· The id, totally below the conscious surface of the mind. It is the heartland of primitive drives which demand gratification no matter what. *· The superego, some of it conscious, some of it unconscious. This is conscience, what we accept of social and ethical values, our personal judge over good and bad, whose verdicts are self-esteem or guilt. the way we finally appear to the outside world, the part that show of our true . personality. If Descartes' proof of existence was "I think, therefore I am," then Freud's theory of the mind could be put, "I think, even when I don't know I think, and that's what I really am." For instance, in correspondence with an American physician, Freud was asked to comment on a certain dream the American' had. The American doctor diagrammed the dream and tried his own interpretation. He was in a dog cart (D) on a hill (A-B) but traveling a path (F-G. All at once in the dream he left this safe path down the steep "slope and headed for another point (E) through marshy, treacherous ground. Freud agreed with the American's self- analysis--that the dog-cart which had belonged to his brother indicated a dependency on, yet a protest agamst his more successful sibling; and indications of repressed fantasies of rich sexual fulfillment. But Freud added, "You are too much frightened by your fantasies... As. soon as you give up that fear you will learn more about your fantasies,. find them interesting and experience relief." 8 8 I Xt^fSttXf^^ L. T. Anderson i ;X ·*·* / Cannot Cotton | · xi To 5a/e Heroes f *: World War H was MY war, and in my war it was the usual thing to name airplanes and trucks, or even bombs, for Betty Grable and Ann Sheridan, or for girls back home named Drema and Fawn. I recall only one exception to the. female monopoly on combat nomenclature. I remember an airplane named Fearless Fosdick, for Al Capp's parody of Dick Tracy. But that's not the same thing as naming an airplane for a Hollywood war hero. Nobody ever named anything during my war for James Cagney, for i n s t a n c e . Yet Cagney single- h a n d e d l y h a d whipped the German army in "The Fighting 69th," s h o w i n g w i t h various facial expressions his love of country and concurrent desire to slaughter Huns. When motion pictures such as "The Fighting 69th" were shown to my military colleagues there would be wildly exaggerated applause, cries of encouragement to the hero and other satirical demonstrations of derision. It wasn't all hooting and jeering. Often the studio version of combat should be subjected to technical review, freely offered during the projection. It would be pointed out sardonically that Humphrey Bogart required neither oxygen mask nor gloves at 30,000 feet, or that Gary Grant had managed to fire a 1903 Springfield 24 times without reloading. When the monthly film dealth wholly with civilian life, it was the custom to urge upon the lovers greater efforts toward graficiation, or to cast loud and vulgar doubt upon the purity of the relationship between Bing Crosby the priest and Ingrid Bergman the nun. But war pictures were the great favorites. They gave every man a chance to express in his own way his revulsion toward the glorification of combat and the delusions being accepted back home. UNTIL FRIDAY I had assumed ·» The ego, caught between them. It j: ^ synthesizes our behavior from the drives ;| of id, the frigid standards of superrf|o. It is IMSSS^SX.^^^ that servicemen in Vietnam held the .same cynical attitudes toward Hollywood battles and rugged heroes contemptuously ignoring loss of limb. I was mildly astonished Friday morning when I read that a Vietnam War hero idolizes -John Wayne and flew a fighter plane in a group called "The Duke Flight" in honor of the survivor of hundreds of battles fought 15 feet in front of the camera crew. I can readily imagine how John "Duke" Wayne's filmed heroics would have been greeted by the 306th Bombardment Group, Heavy. When World War II began, John Wayne was young and, as far as I know, sturdy. He didn't volunteer his services, and for reasons upon which I cannot even speculate, he wasn't drafted. He was never seen any kind of military service and has never been shot .at, a circumstance which explains his willingness to send somebody else's sons in battle against the Communists he despises so courageously. I'AM AT A LOSS to.explain why John Wayne's play-acting has impressed real fighting men who know perfectly well that combat isn't remotely similar to Wayne's portrayals of it. This doesn't mean, however, that I'm not an admirer of Wayne, whose real name is Marion Morrison. He has impressed me mightily with his ability to extract money from the federal government, all the while denouncing handouts to the undeserving poor. Wayne, or Morrison, owns vast tracts of land in the Southwest. For many years he received small fortunes annually from the taxpayers for not growing cotton. When Congress approved a law limiting the amount of subsidy in such cases, Wayne, or Morrison, evaded the spirit of the law by parceling out his land in leasehcods. The lessors now collect the maximum subsidy for not growing cotton and Wayne, or Morrison, in turn collects rents from the lessors. The arrangement has kept almost at its previous level the boodle he formerly accepted from Uncle Sam in a more direct manner. Then, he added, "It strikes me that you have used the letter A-B-D-E-F-G in your drawing, but omitted C. Unfortunately I neglected to ask your wife's name." A slip of the pen? Freud had a ready eye for the acts of that subtle ghost, the subconscious. THAT WAS FREUD'S chief contribution to psychiatry and it remains extant. The technique of psychoanalysis with its emphasis on sexual drives, and some added theories such as self- destruction become the point of departure for many who today oppose Freudian theory. How important is infantile experience? Does a man's emotional life pivot on his early relationship to his father, his mother? Are sexual drive and aggression the major propellants of human life? Does a person's superego unconsciously or consciously struggle to repress his drives? Does a human have an unconscious desire to self-destruct? There are many other schools of thought. There are those'who believe behavior can be trained, made acceptable. In some cases you can resort to electro-shock. In some cases to rewards. Negative reactions receive negative stimuli. Positive reactions receive positive stimuli. It smacks of 1984, and makes two important points. You do not accept the individual as he comes randomly from the crucible of his own experiences. You train him to behave as you would have him behave. In his book, "Beyond Freedom and Dignity," B. F. Skinner votes in favor of control. Human behavior can be made to order. Too often when human behavior cannot be explained it is attributed to some mysterious person inside the persons, and that is a mistake. Behavior is really shaped by the consequences of such behavior. Individual freedom is not only a fetish, but an impeding, impractical force in the 20th century. There are those who believe an individual can train himself to cope with the drives and pressures that he becomes heir to. New techniques are helping people read certain tensions in their bodies, and helping them control those tensions. It could mean control of various neurotic situations, various physical disorders from high blood pressure to twitchy colons. It is akin to the deep mental concentration in some eastern religions, to the principles of Yoga. It means literally that individuals can learn to relax muscles, lower pulse, truly relax when those functions were previously thought to be controlled by an uncontrollable automatic nervous system. It is called biofeedback. THEN THERE IS psychiatry and p s y c h o t h e r a p y i n a l l o f t h e i r manifestations. When an individual cannot cope with his circumstances, change the circumstances, or patch up the holes in his character, or give him confidence, it helps him remeasure his life. Psychiatry, though it may not reach as far as psychoanalysis, dees try to search out the hang-ups and free an individual from them. Critics of psychoanalysis worry about its possible short-sightedness, or possible oversightedness. Perhaps all emotional and mental trouble is not in the id. Perhaps man can master his fate, captain his soul without three to ten years under analysis. Perhaps the trouble is chemical or biological, and not the imprisonment of a disagreeable experience. Critics say the psychoanalyst is reluctant to call in a tranquilizer, or to have a (patient's thyroid checked, or his blood sugar. In short he may neglect that the neurosis could have a serious' biological origin. The psychoanalyst in return may point to the wholesale use of drugs for mental illness as shotgun or bandaid therapy. There is a. practical reason for the decline in psychoanalysis as a treatment of choice--the cost. For young men who want to practice analysis, a long analysis for themselves is necessary. It can run some $7,500 a year, although they may defray some of the expense by treating others. Nevertheless some informal studies are '.reported to show that the number of candidates seeking analytical training is on the decline, largely for that reason. Freud recognized the harsh economics of a one-to-one relationship, such as that between the analyst and his patient. H« noted it would require great sacrifices from both. If those sacrifices are emotional, they are also monetary. But whatever happens to psychoanalysis in its contentions with other treatment, it is hardly the only measure of Freud's influence. If the couch is no longer the sine qua non of psychiatric treatment, Freud's understanding of human emotions his pervaded American thinking and social action. JS^S®^:5^»:SKK:i?H^X:^^ I Conbela: Why Is It Such a Success? ·X The woman u:nrking nn this basement, recycling business is herself being rei\cl?d. She is an ex-mental patient, the client of Conbela, a half-way house and rehabilitation program in Seattle. Conbe- la's success rate in keeping people from returning to hospitals is four times the national arrrage. See Story r,n Page 3D SxWxXxSxix::^^

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