Page:Totem and Taboo (1919).djvu/7

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TRANSLATOR’S INTRODUCTION

When one reviews the history of psychoanalysis[1] one finds that it had its inception in the study of morbid mental states. Beginning with the observation of hysteria and the other neuroses[2] Professor Freud gradually extended his investigations to normal psychology and evolved new concepts and new methods of study. The neurotic symptoms were no longer imaginary troubles the nature of which one could not grasp, but were conceived as mental and emotional maladjustments to one’s environment. The stamp of degeneracy impressed upon neurotics by other schools of medicine was altogether eradicated. Deeper investigation showed conclusively that a person might become neurotic if subjected to certain environments, and that there was no definite dividing line between normal and abnormal. The hysterical symptoms, obsessions, doubts, phobias, as well as hallucinations of the insane, show the same mechanisms as those similar psy-

  1. “The History of the Psychoanalytic Movement,” translated by A. A. Brill. Nervous and Mental Disease Monograph Series.
  2. “Selected Papers on Hysteria and Other Psychoneuroses,” translated by A. A. Brill. Monograph Series.

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