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July 1973

The Quest for Instant Mental Health

Author Affiliations

Galveston, Tex
From the Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Tex.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1973;29(1):134-137. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1973.04200010103017

This paper demonstrates through historical and current examples that there has been and is a persistent tendency to try to solve serious mental problems quickly and simply. An analysis of some of the factors that have contributed to this wishful quest is given, followed by a review of several specific past and present efforts: the Age of Miracles, mesmerism and hypnosis, galvanism, cocaine, orgone therapy, infected teeth (Cotton), dianetics, The Primal Scream, the New Left. It is hoped that, because of this review, the tendency toward finding instant solutions to complex emotional problems will be lessened.