Desmond Ayim-Aboagye1* & Manuela Julietta Amorin2
1Regent University College of Science and Technology, Ghana, Uppsala University, Sweden
2Morgan State University, Maryland, USA
*Correspondence to: Dr. Desmond Ayim-Aboagye, Regent University College of Science and Technology, Ghana, Uppsala University, Sweden.
Copyright © 2021 Dr. Desmond Ayim-Aboagye, et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Psychoanalysis clinical principles in the treatment of psychopathology have attracted philosophers and many professional psychologists for decades since its development. Some of these scholars have expanded what the pioneers, Freud and Jung, have earlier postulated. The discipline continues to engage modern scholars, some of who believe the psychoanalytic theory succinctly describes the reality of the individual’s unconscious mind conflicts, which finally appear to cause mental problems that make him grapple with pain and suffering for the rest of his life.
The article endeavors to describe and explain the theory of complex, which was developed by Sigmund Freud and later embellished by his foremost disciple, Carl Gustav Jung. Comparisons are made to unearth their clinical importance in the treatment of psychopathology. The conditions of important historical personalities who experienced complexes regarding wars are studied to show that these unconscious emotional experiences, feelings, memories, etc., influenced the conscious activities of these war heroes. Thus a well-defined hypothesis is advanced which states that individuals could also have complexes about war.
The article uses the psychobiography or psychohistories famously cherished by the psychoanalyst to study renowned historical personalities who had complexes about war, and as result, pursued it vigorously. The importance of the life history method cannot be underestimated. It has been utilized by many psychoanalysts such as Donald Winnicott and Melanie Klein; among them is Erik H. Eriksson, a German scholar who investigated Martin Luther, a famous cleric concerning his experience of an identity crisis.
Psychoanalysis views complex as a related group of repressed or partly repressed emotionally significant notions which cause psychic conflict leading to abnormal mental states or behavior. The complex has played a central role in the theories of psychoanalysis. It is considered one of the cornerstones of psychoanalysis. These narcissistic emotional feelings were seen to be involved in the paranoid-schizoid personalities who championed wars in the world. Their participation cannot be vaguely asserted to be normal, but rather they portray health abnormalities such as schizophrenia with delusions and hallucination contents, which compelled these famous individuals to engage in atrocious wars that left themselves and the lives of millions of people devastated.
In psychology and psychiatry, psychoanalytic clinical techniques have been employed in the assessment and treatment of psychopathology such that one need not have to strive to explain its importance to the field of modern medical and health sciences. Presently, complex notions continue to attract philosophers and many professional psychologists who are working in neurosciences such as computational neurosciences and behavioral neurosciences. As a result of these modern interests, some of these scholars have expanded what the pioneers, Freud and Jung, have earlier on propounded employing the new techniques in their treatments. The discipline continues to engage modern scholars and clinicians, some of them who believe that the psychoanalytic theory succinctly describes the intricacies of the individual’s unconscious conflicts, which finally surface to give him mental problems that make him grapple with the pain and suffering the rest of his life.
The Goal of the Study
The study describes and explains the theory of complex or complexes, which the famous neurologist and the first psychoanalyst, Sigmund Freud, propounded and later embellished by his foremost disciple, Carl Gustav Jung. It makes comparisons between their theories and seeks to unearth their clinical importance in the treatment of psychopathology. The complexes of historical personalities who experienced complexes regarding wars are studied to show that these unconscious emotional experiences, memories, perceptions, and wishes influenced the conscious activities of these patients. It allows us to investigate the characters of these figures who experienced schizophrenic personality disorders, sadistic personality disorders, narcissistic disorders, and psychopathic disorders. Thus a clear hypothesis is put forward, which states that individuals could have unconscious emotional conflicts that could lead to complexes about war waging that results from their various symptoms of disorders.
What is Complex in Psychoanalysis?
Modern scholars view complex as the cornerstone of psychoanalysis which forms the central configuration of memories, emotions, perceptions, and wishes that inheres in the unconscious mind. They connect to a common theme, such as status or power. Some early scholars coined the term, but the first psychoanalyst and neurologist, Sigmund Freud, employed it in his original work  and later it was be embellished by his foremost disciple, Carl Gustav Jung . Thus, the latter writer had extensive work devoted to the development of complex notions. The emotions, thoughts, memories, feelings, bitterness, triumphs, bitterness that concern an individual’s upbringing and its related aspects of her life become involved in giving trouble to the mind, and this is what is he calls complex .
In Gustav Jung’s theories, which he cogently described in his depth psychology book , he employed the term complexes widely to denote the field of psychology which portrays that the vast majority of an individual’s personality governs and impel the unconscious processes. According to Jung, complexes are the common characteristics of the psychic structures, which often become relevant in psychotherapy to examine and resolve, more especially in the journey toward individuation or wholeness integration. Presently, complexes wield unconscious, maladaptive stimuli on human feelings, thoughts, and conduct and prevent individual human beings from obtaining psychological integration.
Freud’s theory on complex only spent a great deal of time focusing on the Oedipus complex, which exhibited developmental difficulties that every young boy faces as he advances in age. His complex theory, therefore, did not take other complexes into account except for the one he discusses on the Electra complex .
The Oedipus complex, which can be seen to be positive or negative, is Freud’s most ingenious concept that he introduced into modern psychoanalysis. The former refers to a child’s unconscious sexual desire for the opposite-sex parent and hatred for the same-sex parent. The latter, on the other hand, refers to a child’s unconscious sexual desire for the same-sex parent and hatred for the opposite sex parent . Freud reasoned that the identification which occurs with the same-sex parent is the successful result of the complex and that the unsuccessful outcome of the complex might lead to disorders such as neurosis and pedophilia.
But later in his other writings, he says that with regards to the Oedipus complex, no explicit causes of nervous disorders are seen to be resulting from this important relationship. According to Freud, “the question whether a conflict finds a healthy solution or leads to a neurotic inhibition of function depends upon quantitative considerations, that is, upon the relative strength of the forces concerned” . The most protruding feature of the struggle with which a small child goes through in this relation to his parents, that is, the Oedipus complex, is the attempt to grapple with this problem that persons destined to suffer from a neurosis habitually fail. Consequently, “the reactions against the instinctual demands of the Oedipus complex are the source of the most precious and socially important achievements of the human mind; and this probably holds not only in the life of individuals but also in the history of the human species as a whole” , Freud indicates. The super-ego, which is the moral principle that controls the ego, also has its commencement here in the manner it overcomes the Oedipus complex.
Freud means by his use of transference that he has in mind a special peculiarity of neurotics. Here patients cultivate emotional relations toward their physician or therapist, both of an affectionate and hostile character, which is not based upon the actual situation but are derived from their relationships toward their parents, that is, the Oedipus complex . The principle of transference is an indication of the fact that adults have not surmounted their former infantile dependence. Transference “coincides with the force which has been named “suggestion,” and it is only by learning to make use of it that the physician is enabled to induce the patient to overcome his internal resistances and do away with his repressions” . Therefore, the treatment by psychoanalysis functions as a second tutor of the adult, as a remedial to his education as a child.
Carl Jung on Complex
The loyal disciple of Freud, who later broke up with him, Carl Jung, distinguished between two types of the unconscious mind: the collective unconscious and personal unconscious. He defines the latter, that is, the personal unconscious as the accumulation of experiences from a person’s lifetime that could not be consciously remembered. The former, which he calls the collective unconscious, on the other hand, harbors a sort of universal inheritance of human beings, a “species memory” passed on to each of humans. These are not to be confused with the motor programs and instincts the other animals possess. According to Jung, complexes dominate the personal unconscious .
What does Jung mean by the expression “complex”? Both theorists borrowed it from the German word Komplex which means “emotionally charged complexes” or “feeling-toned complex of ideas.” His development of complexes became the pivotal point of his theory. Jung called his theories, “Complex psychology,” which later became replaced with depth psychology. The term had earlier on been used by Theodor Ziehen, a German psychiatrist who had experimented with reaction time in word association test responses. Jung viewed a “complex” as a ‘node’ in the unconscious; it may be imagined as a knot of unconscious feelings and beliefs, detectable indirectly, through behavior that is puzzling or hard to account for .
Jung deviated from Sigmund Freud in his theory of complexes as he considers complexes to be conscious, partially conscious, or unconscious. Again, complexes are either positive or negative, consequently attributing the shade of good or bad to them. There are several types of complexes, but at the center of any complex is a universal pattern of experience called simply “archetype.” Jung wrote about two of the major complexes, the first he calls the anima. It is a node of unconscious beliefs and feelings in a man’s psyche which relates to the opposite gender. The second is animus, which is the corresponding complex in a woman’s psyche. There are other different forms of complexes, which include, the mother, father, hero, and more recently, the brother and sister. According to Jung, it is perfectly normal to have complexes because everyone has emotional experiences that affect his psyche. But the negative complexes, which he considers abnormal, can cause every human being pain and suffering .
Recently, British psychotherapist John Rowan has expanded the complex theory to a semi-autonomous region in personality capable of acting as a person. His theory and practice have led to the widespread utilization of techniques by which he encourages his clients to express the thoughts, feelings, and attitudes of their various super personalities, as a way of accelerating the integration of diverse characteristics part of what Carl Jung has denoted individuation .
Summary and Criticisms of the Psychoanalytic Theory
In summary, both complex theories discussed recognize the conscious and unconscious parts of the human mind. Jung’s idea of the collective unconscious being human instincts and desire is similar to Freud’s concept of the Id. Both Freud and Jung analyze dreams having the focus on the complex in the unconscious and personal unconscious, respectively. Jung believes that dreams are the sure way to communicate with the human unconscious.
Recently some studies have argued to show that current controversies about the centrality of the Oedipus complex in psychoanalysis are difficult to resolve unless we address three obstacles in the way of rational examination. The first is that the Oedipus complex, Freud’s “shibboleth” of psychoanalysis, is politically controversial. Second is the great difficulty in agreeing upon the definition and boundaries of the Oedipus complex, especially the necessary complexities introduced with the negative Oedipus complex, female sexuality, the nature of the preoedipal, and counter-oedipal fantasies and actions. The third problem entails basic questions of psychoanalytic epistemology: our criteria for evidence to prove or disprove any particular proposition .
The investigation utilizes the psychobiography or psychohistories commonly employed by the psychoanalyst or philosophers to study renowned historical personalities complexes about war. These affected them tremendously when they had the opportunity to do so. Interviews came to play a part as the last ten years, we have spent considerable numbers of hours talking to several interviewees who could help us with the life history of these personalities. The use of the life history method in academic research is not new. Many psychoanalysts such as Alfred Adler , Donald Winnicott , Anna-Maria Rizzuto , and Melanie Klein  utilized it in studying various personalities. These investigations gave superb books which had been reviewed in different journals around the world. Among them is Erik H. Eriksson , an American- German scholar who investigated Martin Luther, a famous cleric, about his identity crisis formation. Melanie Klein spent a considerable number of hours like Piaget observing children, which aided her to coin his famous terminology paranoid-schizoid position. When one uses the life history method, one has some of these motivations in mind: the core of a person’s private life can be studied, or a whole history of the person could be intensively studied. It helps to delve into the conflicts ridden personality to unearth certain episodic circumstances that could give important information that would help fathom his unconscious wishes and emotionally laden experiences that influence his personality disorders in life.
I propose the psychiatric condition where the patient shows the excessive urge for going to war or becomes exhilarated to engage in war and other war activities to be known as the “Hannibal Odyssey Complex.” The patient may display some special happiness for war and may go his way to prefer to utilize arms or combat troops to solve a minor problem that crops up between people or nations to humiliate his enemies or opponents. Such personalities usually fanaticize about war and this may have to do with their upbringing and environmental factors that make it that he eventually developed this special taste for war and conflicts. An individual who plays with machine gun toys and tanks when he is a child may have a special liking to become a soldier or a war hero in the future. While this may not be a bad idea, he may assimilate some of the cruel manner soldiers treat their enemies that may cause him to behave throughout his adult life this way. The emotional feelings, perceptions, and cognitive memories he gained from these childhood complexes may control his life, and he shall be made to deal with these improper manners in later life as well. He will then become obsessed with the thoughts of going to war or practice gun shooting to kill a victim.
Persons who suffer Hannibal Odyssey Complex have already gained both their upbringing and partly some of their adults’ lives in a certain milieu where there were some talks about people being classified: poor or rich, respected groups of people or downtrodden not cherished people, higher class or lower class, etc. Having these strong opposing opposites in the unconscious they generate and let grow to become familiar that some groups of people are better than other groups. It may have to do with their race, color, or religion which, as a result of certain myths they have developed, they have been capable of elevating themselves as “superior,” “chosen people,” “holy war goers,” “better breed,” “exclusive group.” To enable this fantasying or imagination to gain footing, they are capable of invoking and attaching these myths which they have coined with a God or gods (unseen mentors) that have specially created them to be better than others. Therefore, the mentality is not seen as sickening but glory and blessing they have acquired from a “Thou” or a “greater power” in the outer space of man. It is commonly associated with race supremacy group members elsewhere in the world, illusory superiority group members elsewhere in the world, and most groups behind the cause of the Second World War who have branded as the narcissist. These individuals tend to cause disturbances in the neighborhoods; first, they cause harm to themselves and others outside the different communities.
One Second World War leader (Leader AH) was one of the persons that showed that he possessed such a condition. Throughout his life, he lived to enjoy war among other people or his people. In the First World War, due to fate or accident, the Corporal had been seriously injured and lay in bed in one hospital recuperating from his injuries. He been brought to the hospital and being treated for his injuries and illness. As soon as he heard that the First World War had been over and that this was the decision of the Commander on their side to end this war, he was very much saddened. Historic information says that he hit his head on his hospital bed pillow several times and shouted: “Why? Why? Why? Why did you have to give up?” We observe later that this kind of wish or a yearning for war compelled him to pursue his political carrier in later life so that he would get the opportunity to go to wars and see others maltreated the manner he had been brought up to see and adore war.
A famous leader in Northern Hemisphere (Leader WC) was one of the most respected the Island had ever had. He was known in the whole world as the leader who, with the help of the Allied forces, defeated the Nazi Regime in Europe. But according to records, the most distinguished leader WC seriously suffered from the Hannibal Odyssey Complex condition. Many of his family members discovered that when there was war, while everybody in the house was deeply disturbed and saddened, the leader became very gladdened. This is only based on his appearance and demeanor at the dining table. Later, his co-workers would also discover something, which had to do with fanaticizing and giving fantastic war plans to defend themselves from their enemies. One of these co-workers remembers his war plan, for instance, to advise the Army to climb somewhere in the Alps, a mission that they considered as impossible judging by the rugged nature of these mountains and the heights the soldiers had to climb. The leader was a great soldier, but he was also suffering from the Hannibal Odyssey Complex condition, a special love for war when everyone else was sad. We discover in his biography that during his infancy he was always seen playing with fun toys, toy soldiers, and acting most of the time as a brave soldier amid war. He was known, for example, for his wild war tactics, which sometimes had to be corrected.
One Scandinavian (Leader GA) war leader was also known to be suffering from Hannibal Odyssey Complex condition. The great leader GA was very famous because he led Sweden through many wars that helped the country a powerful nation for many decades. Though he eventually died through the Thirty Years’ War, his legacy is something that people write and talk about all the time. This king indeed suffered from Hannibal Odyssey Complex condition. He never rested from going to war. The Thirty Years’ War in which he met his fateful death was not the only incident. His people became tired of these unnecessary wars that he led them to go. One of his soldiers shot him down through his back.
One of the leaders of the Gulf States (SH) suffered from the Hannibal Odyssey Complex condition. In his reign, he fought a neighboring state for more than eight years. His love for war did not make him tired. Not only was he shown appearing in public most of the time with guns, sometimes shooting in the air to indicate to his people about his strength as a leader, but also he enjoyed seeing others maltreated. He and his children had their prisons where they kept their war prisoners. At last, when he had created his last war before his downfall, he asserted these words “The Mother of all Battle is here.”
One unpopular African leader (IA) did not engage in many wars. His characteristic manner of inviting war upon himself and the people of Uganda he ruled showed that he suffered from Hannibal Odyssey Complex condition. His frenzy mood in saying and doing things in public and his fanatic behavior about his cherished religion portrayed his illness. He invited “holy wars,” which never happened because people discovered his precarious condition in good time. In his later days, he promoted himself from “General” to “Field Marshal,” not having engaged himself in a major war during the years he ruled.
These serious conditions which made many leaders of old as well as of modern times brutalize their subjects and other subjects outside their kingdoms did go without notice. Presently it has come to the notice of enlightened people of the world. Many of the wars fought by Ancient Kings in their Holy writings and the Ancient Kingdoms of old as a whole may have been fought due to the rampant suffering of their kings from Hannibal Odyssey Complex condition.
Discussion: A Psychoanalytic Assessment
In this assessment, we want to point out that individuals have a complex about wars and that these kinds of unconscious thoughts, feelings, perceptions, memories were the forces that created conflicts in the minds of these war personalities before transferring them to their people. Psychiatric disorders were behind some of the numerous wars orchestrated by certain well-known personalities. Their pathological behaviors could not be diagnosed and treated due to the different perceptions surrounding wars many centuries ago. The case studies leaders AH, WC, GA, SH, and IA: all manifested some form of these disorders, and this was due to their unconscious conflicts. These disorders were schizophrenia, narcissistic, sadistic, psychopathic, paranoid-schizoid, and a few symptoms of other disorders. According to Sigmund Freud, psychoanalysis is built “securely upon the observation of the facts of mental life; and for that very reason its theoretical superstructure is still incomplete and subject to constant alteration” . Secondly, Freud continues, “there is no reason for astonishment that psychoanalysis, which was originally no more than an attempt at explaining pathological mental phenomena, should have developed into a psychology of normal mental life” . He finds this just for this to have arisen with the discovery that the dreams and mistakes known as parapraxes, such as slips of the tongue, etc., of normal men have a similar mechanism as neurotic symptoms.
On a theoretical basis, the first task of psychoanalysis was the elucidation of nervous disorders. The analytical theory of the neuroses, according to Freud, is based upon three ground pillars: the recognition of (1) repression of which is with the patients; (2) the importance of the sexual instincts and of, and finally (3) transference.
Here in our analysis, our stress will be on repression, which later could reveal itself in the individual’s life as mental disorders. Let us observe in general the symptoms of these personality disorders which we have hypothesized that all the above-mentioned leaders (the case studies) suffered them, but they were not diagnosed, so they escaped being in the sick role and instead became war heroes. Schizophrenia is a disorder that affects a person’s ability to think, feel and behave clearly. Its symptoms are hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech. There can be vagrant schizophrenics who usually roam about freely in some quarters of the world. There can be schizophrenics with well-preserved bodies. Persons with well-preserved schizophrenia can easily mingle with ordinary people. There is trouble with thinking and a lack of motivation with certain patients. Sadistic personality disorder involves deriving pleasure through others undergoing discomfort or pain. These symptoms of sadistic personality disorder are cruelty, manipulation, causing fear, and preoccupation with violence. There could be psychopathy or antisocial personality stance involved with some people. A narcissistic personality disorder is a disorder in which a person has an inflated sense of selfimportance. Narcissistic personality disorder symptoms include an excessive need for admiration, disregard for others’ feelings, an inability to handle any criticism, and a sense of entitlement. There can be grandiosity, callous and unemotional traits, disregard for others, or social isolation. A schizoid personality disorder is a condition in which people avoid social activities and interacting with others. The schizoid personality doesn’t desire or enjoy close relationships, even with family, and he is often seen as a loner. They may be emotionally cold and detached. Common symptoms are social isolation, indifference to praise, lack of close friends, limited range of emotion, reduced sex drive, or relationship avoidance.
The psychoanalytic theory largely bases its principles on the notion of the unconscious mind that affects the individual in his personality formation and the dynamics of character development. The experiences in this region of the brain have an important bearing on the personality structure, and they are a result of what goes on when the individual patient mental conflict. In Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams (1899), the manifest dream and the latent dream each have a part to play in the waking state of man which includes the mind of these war personalities whom some were absolute dictators. The complexes of these personalities were formed from the strong wish to become war heroes like those heroes of the ancient world and the modern world. They wished to be like Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus the Great, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Napoleon, Frederick the Great, etc., and their cruel manner of handling subjects was their daily contemplation. All these men had strong beliefs in dreams and their influence on man’s destiny on earth. They were the controlling features in their reign, public lives as well as private.
In the case of Leader AH, the information that has been ascertained through biographies and several witnesses accounts including vivid documentaries films, portrayed him as not only did he suffer a strong narcissistic personality disorder, but also sadistic personality disorder and some features of the schizophrenic personality disorder. He was preoccupied with violence throughout his life as a leader.
In the case of Leader WC, he had had mild schizophrenia and only revealed some features of delusions. Yet his addiction to cigars was noticed copiously by witnesses, colleagues, and family members.
Leader GA’s biography accounts and several witnesses’ accounts revealed a man who suffered from a narcissistic personality disorder and sadistic personality disorder. The numerous wars were too much for his subjects, who later killed him to prevent him from leading them into more wars.
In the example of Leader SH, he had problems with his inability to comprehend the world as it is, so he suffered from a schizophrenia personality disorder with a well-preserved body and sadistic personality disorder. He possessed a psychopathic personality. Like some of his children, he had his prison where he kept some prisoners he captured in the streets or at war.
Finally, Leader IA’s case received a documentary film in the world around. This personality suffered sadistic personality disorder, schizophrenia, and psychopathic personality. He was also a cannibal. There was speculation that he had syphilis disease, which influenced his erratic behavior as well.
There was enormous evidence which witnesses who worked with them corroborated. The numerous interviews I made with experts and people who were alive and knew these men indicated that the Hannibal Odessey Complex condition of these men did escape the sick role. Instead, they enjoyed popularity among their citizens. Their citizens recognized them as men with power and enormous intelligence, so they followed their advice and committed unpardonable mistakes on the planet earth.
As they depended on dreams and error in imaginations, and reality is abnormal and distorted when it has to do with dreams, the lives of these noblemen were unstable and shaky. So these conditions compelled them to engage in atrocious activities such as civil wars, wars, and border aggressions. Acts of domination were central to the leadership style of these sick personalities in those days; therefore, it was not out of place that their copious wishes in real life were the contents of their dreams that strenuously controlled them. So one can assert that “piercing wishes” filled the lives of greatness and domination through wars. One wonders whether all of them had contact with reality or not. Their “latent fears” had largely to do with their possibility of being toppled through a conspiracy by their next akin to the throne, the people that became fed up with his rule or enemies likely to sabotage them. The reactions of these combinations of “great” wishes (in German Wunsken) and fear at the same time were like combining different chemical elements, some will explode, others will lighten fire, and others could easily become insurmountable like the star that scatters all other elements afar just to occupy larger space in the universe. The mental faculty of these men could be understood properly by only one person- a chemist who knows the dynamic power and destruction of chemical reactions.
Concluding Remarks and Direction of Future Research
Psychoanalysis views complex as a related group of repressed or partly repressed emotionally significant notions which cause psychic conflict leading to abnormal mental states or behavior. The complex has played a central role in the theories of psychoanalysis and continues to function in the new neurosciences such as computational and behavioral neurosciences. It is considered one of the cornerstones of psychoanalysis. These narcissistic emotional feelings were involved in the paranoid-schizoid personalities, who championed wars in the world which made it unstable for centuries. Their participation cannot be vaguely asserted to be normal but rather they portray certain health abnormalities such as sadistic, narcissistic, psychopathic, and schizophrenia with strong delusions and hallucination contents, which compelled some of these notorious yet famous personalities to engage in atrocious wars that left themselves and the lives of millions of people devastated.