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Article
December 6, 1941

"THERE IS NOTHING PHYSICALLY THE MATTER" (CONTINUED)

Author Affiliations

Charlottesville, Va.

JAMA. 1941;117(23):2000. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820490074027

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Abstract

To the Editor:—  Dr. Roy Grinker's communication in The Journal, October 18, deserves wide attention and comment. The physician's attitude toward patients with nervous symptoms generally reflects discredit on the medical profession. The reasons for that attitude should give us pause.Most physicians have little difficulty in recognizing anxiety states and the various organ neuroses. Even when the diagnosis is made by the exclusion method alone, our correct percentages are satisfactorily high. However, when a diagnosis of psychoneurosis has been established there seems often to be little advice that can be given which is of real or lasting benefit. The patient is usually left more confused than ever, for he is frequently told, against his own better judgment, that "there is nothing physically the matter" or "nothing seriously wrong." Both of these considered opinions are erroneous. Nervous disorders are invariably accompanied by measurable disturbances of physiology. At first functional and

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