Blog Post #6
Deutch, Felix. “A Footnote to Freud’s ‘Fragment of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria.’” ProQuest, 5 Dec. 2017, search-proquest-com.oca.ucsc.edu/psycinfo/docview/615332316/4EE140F294654510PQ/8?accountid=14523.
Author Felix Deutch explains his case study on a woman named Dora, who was neurologist Freud’s most famous case study on hysteria. Dora mentions that she hasn’t encountered Freud since twenty-four years ago, and has died recently. Deutch touches on his interest in whether her mental disorder caused her death and whether Freud’s studies were correct. He also analyzes Dora’s symptoms and occurrences in her life that may have influenced her hysterical symptoms such as her relationships with her parents, brother, son, etc.
Deutch mentions that this article is “no more than a footnote to Freud’s postscript” (Deutch 167). He means that his own observations on the patient and Freud’s observations connect to how the patient’s symptoms have become now. For example, the patient describes her worries about her son going out late at night and her disinterest in men. Deutch then analyzes that these occurrences are a result of her hysterical symptoms, which he then refers to Freud’s predicament of the patient’s disinterest in men.
The significance of this article is to expand on Freud’s observations and analysis on the famous Dora patient. It gives more insight on how hysteria affects a person’s life and relationships they have with others. Although during Freud’s time hysteria was an illness for women, it contributes to the psychological research on hysteria in patients.
Since Dora was a female patient, it gives evidence that hysteria was an illness that only affected women. Even the men that were mentioned in Deutch’s article were seen as healthy and not the problem in the situation even though they had questionable behaviors such as Dora’s son going out late or her unloyal husband. It seems as if Dora herself is the problem in the situation by concluding that she is only overreacting or it is because of her illness. Her illness may be the problem, however some of the situations applied here seemed off. This overall demonstrates why Bram Stoker may have used hysteria as a way to show weakness in the protagonists in Dracula.
I was interested in this article because it explained possible symptoms of hysteria. In addition, a majority of the symptoms presented were similar to what Jonathan Harker experiences during his stay in Dracula’s castle, such as his suspicions and distrust toward Dracula and how this affected his behavior. I am now curious on how Dracula was able to successfully make Harker hysterical in the process of making him another one of his victims.