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November 1946

INTRAVENOUS INJECTION OF SODIUM AMYTAL AS A TEST FOR LATENT ANXIETY

Author Affiliations

MEDICAL CORPS, ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES; ALBANY, N. Y.

From the Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Albany Medical College.

Arch NeurPsych. 1946;56(5):567-580. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1946.02300220080006
Abstract

SODIUM amytal has been widely utilized in the investigation and treatment of mental disorders. Its effectiveness in probing and clarifying stuporous psychotic states and its value in alleviating major hysteria are examples of its usefulness, which find expression in the routine daily work of most psychiatrists. There is, however, an area in the field of psychiatry where sodium amytal has been little used, yet an area where its utilization may prove fruitful indeed. This encompasses the so-called anxiety or tension states, by far the largest category of the psychoneuroses.

The bulk of the conditions included under the clinical label of "psychoneurosis" cannot be adequately designated by such descriptively specific diagnoses as conversion hysteria, obsessive-compulsive states and hypochondriasis. Rather, they must be grouped together on the basis of the broad concept of tension engendered by frustration, thwarting and insecurity, and are consequently best and most simply described as the tension, or

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