March 1966

Anxiety in the Dreams of a Neurosurgical Patient

Author Affiliations

From the Surgical Neurology Branch, National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness, National Institutes of Health, United States Public Health Service, Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Washington, DC.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1966;14(3):249-252. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1966.01730090025004

MANY METHODS have been used to evaluate psychological stress in the human. Subjects have included surgical patients,1 psychiatric patients,2-4 "normal control" subjects,5,6 metabolic patients,7 as well as many others. Measurements used to evaluate the degree of stress experienced have included affect ratings,4 hormone determinations,1-6 as well as peripheral autonomic variables. Some subjects have been studied under "normal" circumstances,5,6 and in other instances stress has been experimentally induced.8

The purpose of this paper is to present the clinical course of an epileptic patient hospitalized on the Neurosurgical nursing unit of the Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health. Variations in the degree of his anxiety during hospitalization were evaluated by scoring the manifest content of dreams reported by the patient during that time. The instrument for scoring the dream material was designed by Drs. Edith

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