e) The Sexual Instinct in Neurotics


Here Freud gives a summary of psychoanalysis, (see later). Additionally he makes the important statement, that "all my experience shows that these psychoneuroses are based on sexual instinctual forces." i.e. that the contribution of the libido is the most important and only source of energy of the neuroses, and therefore the sexual life of the person is expressed in their symptoms.

Findings of Psychoanalysis

Freud interprets his findings as confirming this proposal that the symptoms represent a substitute for impulses derived from the libido/sexual instinct. He found that the character of hysterics shows a degree of excessive sexual repression lasting right into the period of sexual maturity. Between the pressure of the instinct and his antagonism to sexuality, the illness offers a way of escape for his impulses. However again Freud concludes that a patient's constitution and external influences are not exclusive in their roles in the illness' development.

Neurosis and Perversion

Freud articulates the psychoanalytic teaching that neuroses originate not only at the cost of normal sexuality, but even abnormal sexuality - i.e. neuroses are the negative of perversions. He further proposes that psychoneurotics exhibit all the aberrations of normal and abnormal of sexual life manifestations.

Freud even suggests that every active perversion is accompanied by a passive counterpart, and similarly, he argues that it is rare to find any single perversion, but that where one is found it is normally accompanied by other(s).

Component Instincts and Erotogenic Zones

From the findings thus far, it seems plausible to propose that positive and negative perversions can be traced back to a number of 'component instincts'. Where an instinct is understood to be the psychical representative of an endosomatic, continuously flowing source of stimulation. Freud proposes that instincts are distinguishable in relation to their somatic sources and aims. He also proposes that excitations of two kinds arise from somatic organs, (distinguishable by different chemical natures). One kind is sexual arising from organs of the 'erotogenic zone' and the other is non-sexual arising from for example legs or other non-sexual areas. In perversions these non-sexual areas are modified into an erotogenic zone and produce, sexual excitation.

Reasons for the Apparent Preponderance of Perverse Sexuality in the Psychoneuroses

Freud proposes that whilst this is the impression of many cases, he cites slight cases, in which this is not so. However he explains this otherwise common ocurrence, by citing the sexual repression characteristic of psychoneuroses as an internal factor alongside inaccessibility of a normal sexual object, in producing the perversions in people who might have otherwise remained normal. In different cases of neurosis these factors can vary - in one the preponderating factor may be the innate tendency to perversion, in another the strength of the sexual repression. Freud ends by highlighting areas for future investigation such as the relation between the perverse disposition and the particular form of illness.

Intimation of the Infantile Character of Sexuality

In conclusion, from Freud's proposals, a large number of people may be regarded as perverts. Freud therefore continues to suggest that we all contain the germs of perversion but they are only identifiable in all in childhood, before they are subject to societal and educational conventions, and modified. Therefore Freud turns his attention to the evolution of infantile sexuality and the influential forces, until its outcome in perversion, neurosis or normal sexual life.

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.