The Schreber Case - Sigmund Freud
'The wonderful Schreber ought to have been made a professor of psychiatry and director of a mental hospital.'
Sigmund Freud, in a letter to Carl Jung
The Schreber Case is distinctive from the other case histories in that it's based on the memoirs of a conjectural patient.
Schreber was a judge and doctor of law who lived according to a strict set of principles. His nervous illness first manifested itself as hypochondria and insomnia - which he put down to his excessive workload - but gradually deteriorated into pathological delusion.
Believing himself to be dead and rotting, Schreber attempted suicide, and then went on to experience bizarre delusional epsiodes whereby he belived he was being turned into a woman. The course of this extraordinary illness is analysed by Freud in his search for a root cause - could it have been caused by homesexual impulses that Schreber tried to repress?