In , the distinguished German jurist Daniel Paul Schreber suffered the first of a series of mental collapses that would afflict him for the rest. Schreber, Daniel Paul, – [Denkwürdigkeiten eines Nervenkranken. English]. Memoirs of my nervous illness / by Daniel Paul. In , the distinguished German jurist Daniel Paul Schreber suffered the first of a series of mental collapses that would afflict him for the rest of his life.
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Daniel Paul Memkirs German: During his second illness he was treated by Prof. Pierson Lindenhofand Dr. Schreber was a successful and highly respected judge until middle age when the onset of his psychosis occurred. He woke up one morning with the thought that it would be pleasant to “succumb” to sexual intercourse as a woman. He was alarmed and felt that nervohs thought had come from somewhere else, not from himself.
He even hypothesized that the thought had come from a doctor who had experimented with hypnosis on him; he thought that the doctor had telepathically invaded his mind.
Daniel Paul Schreber
He believed his primary psychiatrist, Prof. Paul Flechsighad contact with him using a “nerve-language” of which Schreber said humans are unaware. He believed that hundreds of people’s souls took special interest in him, and contacted his nerves by using “divine rays”, telling him special information, or requesting things of him.
daneil During one of his stays at the Sonnenstein asylum, he concluded that there are “fleeting-improvised-men” in the world, which he believed were divinely fabricated men, as miracles to provide Schreber with “play-with-humans” in light of a depopulation of the world.
As his psychosis progressed, he believed that God was turning him into a woman, sending rays down to enact ‘miracles’ upon memoira, including little men to torture him. Schreber was released from psychiatric hospitals aroundshortly before the publication of his book. He reassumed his private activities, which he conducted very well up towhen his mother died.
Medical Classics: Memoirs of My Nervous Illness
He went then through a final hospitalisation. Schreber died inin an asylum. Though Schreber’s book was made famous because of its value as a psychological memoir, the reason Schreber wrote the book schrbeer not for reasons of psychology.
Schreber’s purpose was expressed in its subtitle which was not translated as part of the English edition, but fully reproduced inside it: The fundamental unit of Schreber’s cosmology were “nerves”, which composed both the human soul and the nature of God in relation to humanity.
Memoirs of My Nervous Illness by Daniel Paul Schreber | : Books
Each human soul was composed of nerves which derived from God who with “His” own nerves was the ultimate source of human existence.
God’s nerves and those of humanity existed parallel to one another except when the “Order of danifl World” was violated which constituted the fundamental premise of Schreber’s memoirs- in which the two universes experienced dangerous “nerve-contact” with each other.
For Schreber this was focused upon his personal and institutional relationship with Dr. Flechsig, who became a rebellious “nerve specialist” by virtue of his psychiatric power in contrast to the danisl of God. The peculiar universe of Schreber’s was mediated by the activity of rays, which could assume a “pure” and “impure” relation; these rays could be controlled by Flechsig or emanated strictly from God, who sought to influence Schreber and his reality by “divine miracles”.
The rays had the capacity for independent activity, though they were distinguished from souls and nerves generally identical which emanated from other human beings deceased or living. Within Schreber’s cosmology the universe as an observable reality, and the Sun especially, was a partially independent realm which God merely communicated through, using rays and miracles to influence at times when the “Order of the World” needed to be adjusted.
Strictly speaking God only initiated nerve-contact with human beings through dreams or inspired states in poetry, etc. However, the entire crisis which Schreber describes in his book is the dangerous combination between humanity and God within the mind of Schreber. Although Freud never interviewed Schreber himself, he read his Memoirs and drew his own conclusions from it in an essay entitled “Psycho-Analytic Notes on an Autobiographical Account of a Case dwniel Paranoia Dementia Paranoides ” Freud thought that Schreber’s disturbances resulted from repressed homosexual desires, which in infancy were oriented at his father and brother.
Repressed inner drives were projected onto the outside world and led to intense hallucinations nwrvous were first centred on his physician Dr.
Flechsig projection of his feelings towards brotherand then around God who represented Schreber’s father, Daniel Gottlob Moritz Schreber. During the first phase of his illness Schreber was certain that Dr. Flechsig persecuted him and made direct attempts to murder his soul and change him into a woman he had what Freud thought to be emasculation hallucinations, which were in fact, according to Schreber’s words an “unmanning” entmannung experience.
In the next period of his ailment he was convinced that God and the order of things demanded of him that he must be turned into a woman so that he could be the sole object of sexual desire of God. Consideration of the Schreber case led Freud to revise received classification of mental disturbances.
He argued that the difference between paranoia and dementia praecox is not at all clear, since symptoms of both ailments may be combined in any proportion, as in Schreber’s case. Therefore, Freud concluded, it may be necessary to introduce a new diagnostic notion: Their reading of Schreber’s Memoirs is a part of their wider m of familial orientation of psychoanalysis and danisl foregrounds the political and racial elements of the text; they see Schreber’s written mmoirs of reality abnormal only in its honesty about the experience of power in late capitalism.
Elias Canetti also devoted the closing chapters of his theoretical magnum opus Crowds and Power to a reading of Schreber. InMorton Schatzman published Soul Murderin which he gave his own interpretation of Schreber’s psychosis.
Schatzman’s interpretation was in turn illhess on W. Nerfous research illneds the ’50s, Niederland had previously worked with survivors of Nazi concentration camps. Many of the techniques recommended dzniel Moritz Schreber were mirrored in Daniel Schreber’s psychotic experiences. For example, one of the “miracles” described by Daniel Danidl was that of chest compression, of tightening and tightening. This can be seen as analogous to one of Moritz Schreber’s techniques of an elaborate contraption which confined the child’s body, forcing him to have a “correct” posture at the dinner table.
Similarly, the “freezing miracle” might mirror Moritz Schreber’s recommendation of placing the infant in a bath of ice cubes beginning at age three months. Han Israels argued against the interpretations of Niederland and Schatzman, claiming that Schreber’s father had been unfairly criticized in the literature, in his book Schreber: Soul Murder and Psychiatry. On Lothane’s account, the existing literature on Schreber as a rule 1 leaves substantial gaps in the historical records which careful archival research could in some measure fill; 2 leaves out psychoanalytically significant relationships, such as that between Schreber and his wife and 3 overstates the purportedly sadistic elements in Schreber’s father’s child-rearing techniques.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Memoirs of My Nervous Illness.
New York Review of Books, Penguin Classics Psychology, In Defense of Schreber. Second, German edition, Lothane, Z. Seelenmord und Psychiatrie Zur Rehabilitierung Schrebers. In defense of Schreber. Soul murder and psychiatry. The teachings of honorary professor of psychiatry Daniel Paul Schreber, J. Psychoanalytic Review98 6: Mahler on the Couch film A Dangerous Method film. Retrieved from ” https: Views Read Edit View history. In other projects Wikimedia Commons.