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JAMA 100 Years Ago
September 12, 2007


Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2007;298(10):1226. doi:10.1001/jama.298.10.1226-a

Sensational stories are so often concocted, in which the turning point of interest lies in the fulfillment of a premonition that has come over the individual and can not be shaken off, that many nervous persons suffer extreme tortures as the result of having such premonitions. In moments of danger, indeed, the presence of them often causes a loss of presence of mind which is so important for safety in times of crisis. In spite of the frequent disappointment as to their fulfillment, some persons still continue to harbor the thought that some time their worst fears will be realized, and so they go through many anxious hours. The ordinary run of stories in this matter only serves to feed fuel to their nervous excitement and makes them ever more timorous. It has been well said that most of our troubles never happen, and this is a sort of consolation that can be used with effect for these patients, but in addition physicians may welcome striking incidents that make for disbelief in the value of premonitions. There is a noteworthy example of this antidotal kind in the last installment of Carl Schurz's recollections in the September McClure’s.