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May 1958

Effects of a Tranquilizer (Reserpine) on Psychodynamic and Social Processes

Author Affiliations

Bethesda, Md.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1958;79(5):590-596. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1958.02340050118015

Most investigations of the tranquilizing drugs have placed emphasis on behavior and symptomatic aspects of a large number of patients but have left the psychodynamics of these drugs somewhat obscure.

We hope by intensive study of a few patients to gain more understanding of this problem. We chose four chronic regressed schizophrenics who had been under observation at the National Institute of Mental Health for nearly two years. They were all in intensive psychotherapy. Heroic efforts had been made to alter their regressive pattern. We had a high nurse-patient ratio, and all efforts were made to provide specialized and individual care. There was a strong belief on the part of the staff in the efficacy of milieu therapy and no lack of enthusiasm in working with the patients. These patients had shown relatively little progress during the two-year period. We felt they would be ideal candidates for a study of