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October 1958

Objective Approaches to Treatment in Psychiatry

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1958;80(4):529-530. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1958.02340100129027

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The production of abnormal mental states by drugs and other means, and their abolition by other drugs, the ability to prognosticate on the basis of physiologic responses to the injection of certain chemicals, the recognition of the parts played by excitation and inhibition in complex emotional states, and the factor of the physician as a guide in the psychotherapeutic relationship —all these are surveyed with as much objectivity as possible in this easy-to-read volume.

From the practical standpoint, the author shows how Funkenstein's epinephrine-methacholine (Mecholyl) test will point almost unerringly to the method most likely to secure a favorable response to therapy. Even more important, however, is the recognition of depression as a trans-marginal inhibitory state, the product of insupportable anxiety. When the psychiatrist turns his attention to the fundamental processes, instead of being preoccupied by the symptomatic expressions of the disorder (which Alexander likens to the final common path