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The Method Of Dream Interpretation - 6 - Freud

The way in which Irma stands at the window suddenly reminds me of another experience. Irma has an intimate woman friend of whom I think very highly. One evening, on paying her a visit, I found her at the window in the position reproduced in the dream, and her physician, the same Dr. M, declared that she had a diphtheritic membrane. The person of Dr M., and the membrane return, indeed in the course of the dream. Now it occurs to me that during the past three months I have had every reason to suppose that this lady too is hysterical. Yes, Irma herself betrayed the fact to me. But what do I know of her condition? Only the one thing that like Irma in the dream she suffers from hysterical chocking.

Thus, in the dream I have replaced my patient by her friend. Now I remember thet I have often played with the supposition that this lady, too, might ask me to relieve some of her symptoms. But even at the time I thought it impossible since she is extremely reserved.Thus, in the dream I have replaced my patient by her friend. Now I remember thet I have often played with the supposition that this lady, too, might ask me to relieve some of her symptoms. But even at the time I thought it impossible since she is extremely reserved.

She resists, as the dream shows. Another explaination might be that she does not need it; in fact, until now she has shown herself strong enough to master her condition without outside help. Now only a few features remain, which I can assign neither to Irma nor to her friend: pale, puffy, false teeth. The false teeth led me to the governess; I now feel inclined to be satisfied with bad teeth. Here another person, to whom the features may allude, occurs to me.She is not my patient, and I do not wish her to be my patient, for I have noticed that she is not at her ease with me, and I do not consider her a docile patient. She is generally pale, and once when she had not felt particularly well, she was puffy.

9. The complaints of pain in the abdomen , as yet unexplained, may also be referred to the third person; the abdominal pains remind me of one of the occasions on whcih her shyness became evident to me. I must admit that I do not treat Irma and my wife very gallantly in this dream, but let it be said, in my defense, that I am measuring both of them against the idea of the courageous and docile female patient.

I have thus compared my patient Irma with two others, who would likewise resist treatmenrt. What is the meaning of the fact that I have exchanged her for her friend in the dream? Perhaps that I wish to exchange her; either her friend arouses stronger sympathies, or I have a higher regard for her intelligence. For I consider Irma foolish because she does not accept my solution. The other woman would be more sensible, and would thus be more likely to yield. The mouth then opens readily; a white spot and scabby turbinal bones.The white spots recall diptheria, and thus irma's friend, but it also recalls the grave illness of my eldest daughter two years earlier, and all the anxiety of that unhappy time.

The scab on the turbinal bones reminds me of my anxiety concerning my own health. At that timeI frequently used cocaine in order to supress distressing swellingsin the nose, and I had heard a few days previously that a lady patient who did likewise had contracted an extensive neurosis of the nasal mucous membrane. In 1884 it was I who had recommended the use of cocaine, and I had beeb gravely reproached in consequence. A dear friend, who had died before the date of this dream, had hastened his end by the misuse of this remedy.

I quickly call Dr M., who repeats the examination. This would simply correspond to the position which M. occupied among us.but this word 'quickly' is striking enough to demand a special examination. It reminds me of a sad medical experience. By continually prescribing a drug  (sulphonal), which at that time was still considered harmless. i was once responsibl for a condition of acute poisioning  in the case of a woman patient, and hastily turned for assistance to my older and more experienced colleague.

The fact that I really had this case in mind is confirmed by a subsidiary circumstane. The patient, who succumber to the toxic effects of the drug, bore the same name as my eldest dayghter. I had never thought of this until now; but now it seems to me almost like a retribution of fate-as though the substitution of a person had to be.

The fact that I really had this case in mind is confirmed by a subsidiary circumstane. The patient, who succumber to the toxic effects of the drug, bore the same name as my eldest dayghter. I had never thought of this until now; but now it seems to me almost like a retribution of fate-as though the substitution of a person had to be continued in another sense ; this Matilda for that Matilda; an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. It is as though I were seeking every opportunity to reproach myself for a lack of medical conscientiousness.

10. I suspect that the interpretation of this portion had not been carried far enough to follow every hidden meaning. if I were to continue the comparison of the three women, I should go far afield. Every dream has at least one point at which it is unfathomable: a central point, as it were, connecting it with the unknown.

Reference: The Interpretation of Dreams: Sigmund Freud.

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