Comments on
3 Facts You Might Not Know about Freud and His Biggest Addiction

You may know that Sigmund Freud, the famed founder of psychoanalysis, had a fascination with cocaine and abused it for many years.

But you might not know these three facts that relate to Freud’s longstanding interest in cocaine. Howard Markel, M.D., Ph.D, professor of medical history at the University of Michigan, documents all this and more in his comprehensive, beautifully written book An Anatomy of Addiction: Sigmund Freud, William Halsted and the Miracle Drug Cocaine.

1. Freud was initially attracted to cocaine because he wanted to help a close friend.

One of Freud’s dearest friends, Dr. Ernst von Fleischl-Marxow, was heavily addicted to morphine, and Freud initially believed that cocaine could cure him. A brilliant man and talented doctor, Fleischl-Marxow had an accident while doing research at the age of 25. He “accidentally nicked his right thumb with a scalpel he was applying to a cadaver,” according to Dr. Markel.

This seemingly minor wound turned into a horrible infection and the thumb had to be amputated.

One Comment to
3 Facts You Might Not Know about Freud and His Biggest Addiction

The comments below begin with the oldest comments first. (If there's more than one page, click on the last comments page to jump to the most recent comments.) Jump to reply form.

  1. Cocaine use interdicts long and short term memory access and storage, so it’s impossible that Freud would even remember his “missing years”, just as he couldn’t have written about them while under the influence. Neither could he have done it in later years, as all of the necessary associative memory connections never formed, remain permanently inaccessible to the cocaine-saturate mind and as such, don’t even exist for the unfortunate abuser.

  2. I used to hate Freud, called him Sigmund Fraud. In a dream many many years ago I killed him. Then again, he sort of developed psychoanalysis so I can put up with him. I believe his inability to grasp the ocean of oneness is from his cocaine abuse.

    It is exactly violence, sex and distance from others that he exhibits by his cocaine use, though it does give strength and cures some ills. I just always wished people had studied Jung more and see everything Freud wrote with awareness of what coke-heads think, so that we don’t see violence and sex abuse, hatred of civilizations codes as normal. If one doesn’t do coke one can feel the oneness and enjoys helping civilization, not hate it’s limitations.

    This is just an opinion I had many many years ago and don’t hold me to it, I just have seen how people under influence have askew ideas, and I wanted to point this out so that we can avoid certain pitfalls and take in the wisdom where it is. A huge thanks to psychcentral and all who allowed me to get this off of my chest, whew!



Join the Conversation!

We invite you to share your thoughts and tell us what you think in this public forum. Before posting, please read our blog moderation guidelines. A first name or pseudonym is required and will be displayed with your comment. Your email address is also required, but will be kept private. (Please note that we use gravatars here, which are tied to your email address.) A website/blog/twitter address is optional.

Post a Comment: