Posts Tagged ‘sexual abuse’

The Long Shadow of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Friday, August 6th, 2010

I have interviewed thousands of adults about the long-term effects of sexual abuse when they were children but few stories have shocked me as much as one I heard recently from a colleague in another city.  The patient was in the final stages of Alzheimer’s Disease and had not spoken for over two years.  She had lost control of her bladder and wore a diaper that her daughter, with whom she lived, changed regularly.  During a hospital stay, a male nurse changed her diaper and as he began she suddenly said, “No, Daddy, please don’t.”


Sigmund Freud’s Biggest Slips

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Two weeks before Sigmund Freud’s fortieth birthday in 1896, he presented a lecture to his Viennese colleagues on the cause of the neuroses, to “show them the solution of a thousands-years-old problem.”  The evening ended in humiliation when one of the most distinguished listeners dismissed his work as a “scientific fairly tale.”  The talk even harmed his professional practice because he later wrote to a friend that a “password has been given out to abandon me.”  Though many scientific pioneers have been misjudged by their contemporaries, in this case the assessment by the audience was correct.