Edgar Allen Poe Essay
"I had never swallowed opium before. Laudanum and morphine I had occasionally used, and about them should have had no reason to hesitate…I would take a very small dose in the first instance. I would repeat it until I should find an abatement of the fever." This passage, from Poe's short story, Life in Death, suggests Poe's drug use. It is known that for medical purposes, Poe used the drug opium, which was, at the time, an over-the-counter drug. It is speculated that he may have developed an abuse problem. The opium caused some side effects, and Poe may have used alcohol to try and counteract them, and possibly took opium to counteract the effects of alcohol, such as the fever mentioned in the previous passage.
It was extremely likely that Poe had various neurotic problems throughout life; neurotic instability was a trait that ran in his family (American Writers III). Marie Bonaparte suggested that he suffered from an Oedipus complex, which typically results in neurotic disorders in adult life (American Writers III). Alcohol, and possibly drugs, helped Poe to escape from these neurotic problems, but often they just compounded them, and possibly caused others.
After his wife's death, Poe was diagnosed as having a brain