Case Studies in Psychology

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Case Study A: Anna. O

Bertha Pappenheim, who was given the pseudonym, "Anna O.," is a perfect example of a case study dealing with somatoform disorder. Specifically, she suffered from conversion disorder, which is a set of "neurological symptoms such as weakness, sensory disturbance and attacks that look like epilepsy but which cannot be attributed to a known neurological disease." (, 2006) Pappenheim suffered from epilepsy, she lost control over half of her body including paralysis in her arm. She was psychoanalyzed by Josef Breuer, who co-wrote the book Studies on Hysteria with Sigmund Freud. It is important to note Pappenheim's later work as a sign of her dedication as a person – she traveled "widely in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, often experiencing hardship, if not danger, to inspect brothels." (, 2006) This sense of dedication, which in that case was used to combat the spread of prostitution, could in fact be a key personality trait as to why she suffered paralysis in her arm. Breuer deduced that the arm with which Pappenheim cradled her father as he died is the same arm with which she suffered paralysis. As Breuer talked with Pappenheim more and more about the events that had occurred around the beginning of her paralysis, Pappenheim's symptoms began to go away. Pappenheim's paralysis was then interpreted as "punishment because she blamed herself for her father's death," and Pappenheim labeled her cure as her "talking cure." (, 2006) It would be reasonable to deduce that Pappenheim was so dedicated to her father that she felt very guilty about his death – even more so that he had died in her arms. Breuer labeled the healing technique of talking through one's emotions as Catharsis, Latin from the Greek Katharsis, which means "to cleanse." Case Study B: A Beautiful Mind

An example of a psychological disorder is the movie A Beautiful Mind. A Beautiful Mind was directed by Ron Howard and stars Russell...
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