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Hypochondriasis A Practical Treatise (1766)   By: (1714?-1775)

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In John Hill's "Hypochondriasis: A Practical Treatise" the author takes a comprehensive approach towards exploring the nature of hypochondria and its various manifestations. Originally published in 1766, this pioneering work remains relevant even in the modern era with its insightful observations and practical advice.

Hill begins by providing a thorough definition of hypochondria, highlighting the complex relationship between the mind and the body. He delves deep into the causes of this condition, attributing it to a combination of physiological and psychological factors. By presenting numerous case studies, Hill illustrates the diverse ways in which hypochondria manifests itself, dispelling any notions of a one-size-fits-all diagnosis.

One of the book's strengths lies in its systematic approach towards treatment. Hill acknowledges the challenges faced by physicians in treating hypochondriacal patients and offers practical suggestions for sympathetic management. He emphasizes the importance of a holistic approach that considers both physical and mental aspects of the individual. This multidimensional approach is notable for its forward-thinking perspective, well ahead of its time in an era where mental health was often disregarded.

Hill's writing style is remarkably accessible and engaging, making the book easy to comprehend for both medical professionals and lay readers. He strikes a balance between presenting scientific evidence and incorporating anecdotal experiences, thus making his arguments relatable and convincing. The author's expertise shines through, presenting a wealth of knowledge gathered from his own observations and interactions with patients.

The book's only drawback is its somewhat dated terminology and medical practices given its historical context. However, this can be easily overlooked due to the book's enduring contributions to the field of psychosomatic medicine. Hill's groundbreaking work paved the way for future scholars and clinicians to delve further into the complexities of hypochondria, leading to a deeper understanding of this condition.

In conclusion, "Hypochondriasis: A Practical Treatise" by John Hill is a seminal work that has stood the test of time. With his insightful observations, comprehensive approach, and practical advice, Hill explores the complexities of hypochondria, shedding light on a condition often misunderstood. This book continues to be a valuable resource for anyone interested in the field of psychosomatic medicine and mental health, providing a solid foundation for further research and understanding.

First Page:

The Augustan Reprint Society



A Practical Treatise.


Introduction by


Publication Number 135 William Andrews Clark Memorial Library University Of California, Los Angeles 1969


William E. Conway, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library George Robert Guffey, University of California, Los Angeles Maximillian E. Novak, University of California, Los Angeles


David S. Rodes, University of California, Los Angeles


Richard C. Boys, University of Michigan James L. Clifford, Columbia University Ralph Cohen, University of Virginia Vinton A. Dearing, University of California, Los Angeles Arthur Friedman, University of Chicago Louis A. Landa, Princeton University Earl Miner, University of California, Los Angeles Samuel H. Monk, University of Minnesota Everett T. Moore, University of California, Los Angeles Lawrence Clark Powell, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library James Sutherland, University College, London H. T. Swedenberg, Jr., University of California, Los Angeles Robert Vosper, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library


Edna C. Davis, William Andrews Clark... Continue reading book >>

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