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Benign Stupors A Study of a New Manic-Depressive Reaction Type   By: (1868-1919)

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BENIGN STUPORS

THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

NEW YORK · BOSTON · CHICAGO · DALLAS ATLANTA · SAN FRANCISCO

MACMILLAN & CO., Limited

LONDON · BOMBAY · CALCUTTA MELBOURNE

THE MACMILLAN CO. OF CANADA, Ltd.

TORONTO

BENIGN STUPORS

A STUDY OF A NEW MANIC DEPRESSIVE REACTION TYPE

BY

AUGUST HOCH, M.D.

LATE DIRECTOR OF THE PSYCHIATRIC INSTITUTE OF THE NEW YORK STATE HOSPITALS, WARD'S ISLAND, NEW YORK. LATE PROFESSOR OF PSYCHIATRY, CORNELL UNIVERSITY MEDICAL COLLEGE, NEW YORK

New York THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 1921

All rights reserved

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Copyright, 1921, By THE MACMILLAN COMPANY Set up and printed. Published July, 1921.

Press of J. J. Little & Ives Company New York, U. S. A.

TO MY FORMER COLLEAGUES IN THE NEW YORK STATE HOSPITAL SERVICE

EDITOR'S PREFACE

A word should be said as to the origin and history of this book. When the late Dr. Hoch became Director of the Psychiatric Institute of the New York State Hospitals in 1910, he found there an interest in just the kind of psychiatric research which it was his ambition to further. His predecessor, Adolf Meyer, had developed the conception that the psychoses should be looked on as psychobiological reactions rather than rigid nosological entities and had inculcated the habit of scrupulously thorough examination and record of what the patient said and did. Meyer had broken away from the sterile habit of making diagnoses in accordance with the set terms used to label symptoms; and his work and that of his assistants thus led to a collection of valuable material which could serve as a useful starting point for the keen clinical investigation of Hoch. Specifically, attention had already been fixed on the study of the so called functional psychoses, comprising what are generally termed Dementia Præcox and Manic Depressive Insanity. An urgent problem in this field was to separate different reaction types in order to discover which were recoverable and which chronic or progressive. In order to understand psychological reactions, interrelation rather than mere coincidence of symptoms must be studied and, to aid in this, free use was made of the fundamental principles of unconscious mentation as exposed in the theories of Freud and his followers.

Almost at the outset it had been discovered that many patients presented clinical pictures that would not fit into existing diagnostic pigeon holes. Dr. George H. Kirby, whose skill and industry had made the most valuable contributions to the archives of the Institute, published in 1913 a brief paper in which he pointed out, not only that many cases with "catatonic" symptoms recovered, but also that clinically the behavior of stupor showed it to be related to manic depressive insanity as well as dementia præcox. Dr. Hoch took up the problem at this point. Using Dr. Kirby's material and adding to it his earlier observations as well as current cases, he endeavored to work out the essentials of the stupor reaction. It was his ambition to describe stupor not only in its psychiatric bearing but also as a life reaction.

The significance of this task is to be realized only when one considers the general import of the functional psychoses. They are, biologically, failures of adaptation. The chronic and deteriorating cases give up the struggle permanently, while the temporary insanities lay bare the soul of man as he catches a glimpse of unreality but turns back to face the world as it is. When one realizes that emotional disturbances are characteristic of the benign psychoses, it is easy to imagine how much such studies may ultimately illuminate the problems of normal life.

The technical value of this work to psychiatry is more immediate. Kraepelin laid the foundations for systematic classification with his dementia præcox and manic depressive groups... Continue reading book >>




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