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Dora: An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria
From Modernism Lab Essays
Jump to: navigation, search Contents[hide] * 1 Hysteria in the Twentieth Century * 2 Summary of Case Study * 3 Critical Receptions and Importance of the Work | | by Alex Gatlin
An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria (1905), better known simply as “Dora,” is a case study written by the neurologist and founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, which details the condition and treatment of Ida Bauer, a woman diagnosed with hysteria and given the pseudonym “Dora." One of Freud’s most famous works, the Dora case study is typically praised for the scientific empiricism of Freud’s method, as well as for its identification of, among others, the phenomenon known as transference.
Hysteria in the Twentieth Century

Although no longer a recognized illness, hysteria (specifically female hysteria) was until the mid-twentieth century a common medical diagnosis for extreme emotional excess. Since its earliest diagnoses in ancient Greece, it was deemed an exclusively female condition, which manifested itself in a wide range of symptoms. Freud believed that hysteria stemmed from psychologically traumatic sexual experiences in the patient’s past, or from problems in the patient’s sexual life; thus, it was to be treated typically, although not exclusively, with some sort of genital stimulation. By the twentieth century, however, both men and children had been diagnosed with hysteria, leading many physicians to consider it a hereditary or psychological disorder.[1] Despite these new findings, treatment methods typically remained unchanged.
Freud’s approach, however, sought to resolve the problem through talking. This allowed both the doctor and patient to identify the subconscious problem, confront it,...

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