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August 30, 1890

DISCUSSION ON HYPNOTISM.

JAMA. 1890;XV(9):327-328. doi:10.1001/jama.1890.02410350023003

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Abstract

At the late meeting of the British Medical Association this subject attracted unusual attention in the Section of Psychological Medicine. Dr. Norman Kerr read a paper entitled, " Should Hypnotism have a recognized place in Therapeutics? " He fully accepted all the hypnotic phenomena as facts, but in hypnosis he recognized only disordered cerebral states, and abnormal psychical conditions, with exaltation of receptivity and energy.

He denied that it had any therapeutic value, claiming that the after effect was a disturbance of mental balance, a dissipation of nerve energy and nerve exhaustion. Frequent repetition was apt to cause deterioration of brain and nerve function, intellectual decadence and moral perversion. Hypnosis was a departure from health and a diseased state. It was also a true neurosis, embracing the lethargic, cataleptic, and somnambulistic states. Thus, if a disease was cured by hypnotism, this would be only by substituting another disease. Though suffering is often

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