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October 17, 1914


JAMA. 1914;LXIII(16):1396-1397. doi:10.1001/jama.1914.02570160062025

The mental anguish, depicted by the numerous tales of suicide, madness and desertion among soldiers, to say nothing of mental frenzy expressing itself in wanton murder, that have come to us from our ill-fated friends across the sea, leads us to realize that there have been made as yet no scientific studies of the effect of war on the minds of officers and enlisted men in the army. Fortunately for our nation, there has been no opportunity to study the effect, on a large body of men, of short rations, loss of sleep, great emotionalism, exhausting exposure, excessive physical exertion, homesickness, etc., yet these in combination produce a strain that might well prove fatal to the equilibrium of many a mind that in regular routine would show no weakness. To be mentally sound in such conditions is of more importance than to pass the eyesight test, or to be typhoid

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