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JAMA 100 Years Ago
May 13, 1998


Author Affiliations

Edited by Brian P. Pace, MA, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 1998;279(18):1438J. doi:10.1001/jama.279.18.1438

The Lancet, British Medical Journal, and other medical periodicals in Great Britain have lately been discussing the question whether jealousy can be regarded as a disease. Considering the number of physicians who have fallen victims to the morbid jealousy of inebriate husbands when suddenly called to a previously unknown parturient woman, the denial that jealousy can be at times morbid seems absurd.

As SPITZKA pointed out nearly two decades ago ("Insanity: Its Classification, Diagnosis and Treatment"): Delusions of alcoholism relate to the sexual organs, sexual relation and to poisoning. This fact is so constant a one that the combination of a delusion of mutilation of the sexual organs, with the delusions that the patient's food is poisoned and that his wife is unfaithful to him may be considered as nearly to demonstrate the existence of alcoholic insanity as any one group in mental pathology can prove anything. With this there are unpleasant hallucinations. There is this peculiarity of insane inebriates, that their acts are not consistently regulated by their delusions. . . .

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