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January 3, 1920

Psychoses of the War, Including Neurasthenia and Shell Shock.

JAMA. 1920;74(1):52. doi:10.1001/jama.1920.02620010058033

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This book purports to describe the results of the observation of some 18,000 officers and men; but in reality the author has attempted a textbook of psychiatry and has included descriptions of the various forms of low-grade feeblemindedness. The text presents a curious mixture of abstracts, often poorly digested, from modern neuropsychiatric literature, with primitive conception which may well be termed popular. Thus, in the introductory chapter there is a detailed account of nerve structure followed by a description of the "means of observation of mental phenomena" in which there is little besides a study of facial expression, which is said to give "the most reliable information of the nature and quality of mind." Under the heading of psychasthenia the author quotes Janet (not quite correctly), and then proceeds to describe a series of cases of constitutional inferiority with delinquency which obviously bear no relation to the definition given. Hysteria

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