love and sick-nursing

This is perhaps one of the reasons why in the anamnesis of hysteria we so often come across the two great pathogenic factors of being in love and sick-nursing. In the former, the subject’s longing thoughts about his absent loved one create in him a ‘rapt’ state of mind, cause his real environment to grow dim, and then bring his thinking to a standstill charged with affect; while in sick-nursing the quiet by which the subject is surrounded, his concentration on an object, his attention fixed on the patient’s breathing – all this sets up precisely the conditions demanded by many hypnotic procedures and fills the twilight state produced in this way with the affect of anxiety. It is possible that these states differ only quantitatively from true auto-hypnoses and that they pass over into them. (Breuer)

Sigmund Freud & Josef Breuer 1895 Studies on Hysteria

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